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Wife of man killed in fiery I-55 crash sues trucking company

Sun-Times file photo

The wife of an Indiana man who died in a fiery crash in July on Interstate 55 has filed a lawsuit against the truck driver citing for causing the crash and the company he worked for.

About 10:50 a.m. July 26, 44-year-old David A. Ray was driving a green minivan on I-55 near Cicero Avenue, Illinois State Police said at the time. He was stopped behind a semi carrying 17,800 pounds of flammable paint when another semi carrying 40,000 pounds of frozen meat struck a pickup truck from behind. The crash pushed the pickup into Ray’s minivan, which was pushed under the semi stopped in front of him.

The four vehicles caught fire and Ray, of Roanoke, Indiana, was found dead inside the minivan when the fire was extinguished, police said.

The driver of the semi that caused the crash, 59-year-old David C. Hlebasko, from Logansport, Indiana, was cited for failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident and following too closely, police said.

Christy Ray, David A. Ray’s wife, filed the two-count wrongful death suit Thursday in Cook County Circuit Court against Hlebasko and Pasquale Trucking Company.

According to the suit, the trucking company and Hlebasko were negligent for following too closely, failing to keep a proper lookout, driving too fast for conditions and failing to equip the 2015 Freightliner semi with adequate brakes.

The suit is seeking at least $100,000 in damages.

Tom Pasquale, president of Pasquale Trucking Company, declined to comment on the story Monday morning.