- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 27, 2015

WHEATON, Ill. (AP) - An Illinois State Police trooper who was seriously injured in an accident along Interstate 88 last year wants the truck driver facing trial to be charged with reckless homicide.

The driver, Renato Velasquez, is already facing other felony charges in the January 2014 crash near Aurora that killed Illinois Tollway maintenance worker Vincent Petrella. Those charges include driving while fatigued and falsifying driving logs.

Trooper Doug Balder and his wife, Kimberli, said at a news conference Tuesday that adding the reckless homicide charge would set a precedent. Doug Balder spent three months in a hospital burn unit as a result of his injuries.

DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said in a written statement Tuesday that his charging decisions can’t be based on emotion or politics. A message seeking comment was left with Velasquez’s attorney.

Velasquez’s trial is set to begin Feb. 24.


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