• August 16, 2022

Sofiane Bessai, Brayan Velasquez Killed in Multi-Vehicle Crash on I-80 in Grundy County, IL

Grundy County, IL — August 12, 2022, Sofiane Bessai and Brayan Jimenez Velasquez died in a crash with multiple tractor-trailers on Interstate 80 in Grundy County.

Reports say the incident happened shortly before 5:00 p.m. on westbound I-80 near mile marker 109. Preliminary investigation suggests Bessai was driving a Toyota Corolla west on the highway when for unknown reasons the car's front hit the back of a nearby Freightliner 18-wheeler.

After the impact the Toyota ran through the median and crashed with a second Freightliner. The big rig then rolled back through the median into the westbound lanes and hit another semi-truck's trailer. Debris from that collision hit a fourth 18-wheeler.

Bessai and her passenger Velasquez were pronounced dead at the scene. No other injuries were reported.

The investigation continues. No further information is currently available.

Sofiane Bessai, Brayan Velasquez Killed in Multi-Vehicle Crash on I-80 in Grundy County, IL

Commentary on Sofiane Bessai, Brayan Velasquez Accident in Grundy County

One thing I often have to caution people about is taking a simplistic report from police or the news and treating it like the whole story. All the news can tell us right now is that a car hit a truck for unknown reasons and a tragic series of events followed; why did that triggering event happen, though?

Some may be ready to just blame some kind of driver mistake (speeding, distraction, falling asleep) and be done with the whole thing, but without knowing more details that's unfair. A thorough investigation will account for other possibilities too--poor road conditions, vehicle failures or defects, sudden medical emergencies, and many others.

Note that I say a "thorough" investigation rather than a "police" investigation there. Unfortunately, law enforcement sometimes limits its attention to only the most common possibilities before making a guess and filling out a report. I don't mean they're just making a shot in the dark; their conclusions are often right. However, other times they overlook crucial details and reports end up incomplete or incorrect. Click below to read more about the often-unfilled blanks of a police investigation.

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