Family of tollway worker killed by semi on I-294 sues towing company

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The family of a tollway worker who was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer last week on Interstate 294 is suing a towing company for not fully clearing the debris from an earlier crash before he was struck near south suburban Alsip.

At 12:23 p.m. Sept. 18, 48-year-old David M. Schwarz was struck by a truck pulling a trailer while picking up debris along the right shoulder on southbound I-294 near 127th Street,according to the Illinois Tollway and the Cook County medical examiner’s office. The truck driver drove off after sideswiping Schwarzand his vehicle. He died of his injuries later that night.

His wife, Hope Enzenbacher-Schwarz, filed the wrongful death suit Tuesday in Cook County Circuit Court and accuses Airline Towing, Inc. of contributing to Schwarz’s death by not fully clearing the debris from a separate Sept. 8 crash.

The earlier crash involved a Chevrolet Camaro that crashed about 4 a.m. in the southbound lanes of I-294 near mile post 12, according to the suit. Airline Towing was sent to remove the car and debris from the roadway, but failed to fully do so.

The suit claims the company was careless and negligent when it failed to fully remove the debris from the Sept. 8 crash, leading to Schwarz to be on the roadway and be struck.

The suit seeks unspecified damages. A representative of Airline Towing was not available for comment Tuesday night.

Schwarz, who lived in south suburban Monee, served as an equipment operator laborer at the tollway since March 1992, according to a statement from tollway.

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