August 28, 2014
Indiana truck driver indicted for reckless homicide in fatal crash on I-55
JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James W. Glasgow announces that reckless homicide indictments have been returned against an Indiana truck driver accused of causing a collision on Interstate 55 that resulted in the deaths of five individuals.
Francisco Espinal-Quiroz, 51, of Leesburg, IN, was indicted on 15 counts of reckless homicide Wednesday. The indictments became public after they were returned Thursday morning.
The indictments allege that Espinal-Quiroz was speeding through a construction zone; that he failed to keep a proper lookout for vehicles stopping or slowing in a construction zone; that he failed to decrease his speed when a special hazard existed; and that he had physical conditions that limited his ability to drive safely. One of those physical conditions is a complete loss of vision in his right eye due to a 1984 injury.
The indictments name as victims Timothy Osburn, Kimberly Britton, Piper Britton, Vicky Palacios and Ulrike Bopleh
Reckless homicide is a Class 2 Felony. The defendant could face between six and 28 years in prison if he is convicted. Espinal-Quiroz had previously been indicted on false recording of a commercial driver record duty of status and failure to maintain a record duty of status. Both are Class 4 Felonies.
He is scheduled to appear in court for arraignment on the indictments on September 9. The defendant remains in the Will County Jail on a $1 million bond.
The July 21 collision remains under investigation and review by the Illinois State Police and the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office.
The Will County State's Attorney's Office reminds the public that indictments are not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.