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home : news : state news free March 27, 2017

   
2/18/2017 12:47:00 PM
Semi driver gets 10-year sentence for crash that killed 5

JOLIET, Ill. (AP) — An Indiana semi-truck driver involved in a crash that killed five people in northern Illinois has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Francisco Espinal-Quiroz pleaded guilty in November to five counts of reckless homicide and falsifying entries in his logbook, which tracked how many hours he was behind the wheel. He was sentenced Thursday during hearing attended by relatives of the victims.

Espinal-Quiroz told the families: “I’m so sorry.”

Espinal-Quiroz, 53, was driving along Interstate 55 near Channahon when his vehicle slammed into vehicles stopped at a construction zone on July 21, 2014. The crash killed five people in three vehicles.

In one SUV, including Kimberly Britton, 43, and Piper Britton, 11, both of Urbana, died at the scene. Timothy Osburn, 64, of Channahon, died in a Chicago hospital more than two weeks later.

Two other women, Ulrike Blopleh, 48, of Channahon, and Vicky Palacios, 54, of Coal City, also were killed when Espinal-Quiroz’s truck struck their vehicles. Three of Blopleh’s children were injured in the crash.

Espinal-Quiroz is blind in his right eye but had a waiver to drive a truck through Indiana.


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