• September 12, 2022

Thomas Piekarczyk Killed by Box Truck on I-55 in Grundy County, IL

Grundy County, IL — September 8, 2022, 68-year-old Thomas Piekarczyk died when a box truck hit his stopped vehicle on Interstate 55 in Grundy County.

Authorities say the incident happened late Thursday night along southbound I-55 between Gardner and Dwight. Preliminary investigation suggests Piekarczyk's vehicle was parked on the right shoulder of the roadway when a southbound box truck ran off the road for unknown reasons and crashed into it from behind. The impact pushed Piekarczyk's vehicle through the bar ditch and into a nearby cornfield.

Piekarczyk was pronounced dead at the scene. No other injuries were reported.

The investigation is ongoing. No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Thomas Piekarczyk Accident in Grundy County

Reports about this crash don't have a whole lot of detail, but it jumps out clearly that a truck hit a stopped or parked vehicle on the shoulder. Typically when something like that happens it's because the driver in motion did something wrong.

However, driver error isn't the only possible explanation--nor would it be right to just assume that and consider the matter resolved. For all anyone knows right now the truck had a brake or mechanical failure, or maybe it hit a bad patch of road and veered off-course when it lost traction. It's also not clear where exactly the victim's car was or if it was stopped partially in the road. All of those possible factors and others must be duly considered and investigated.

Thomas Piekarczyk Killed by Box Truck on I-55 in Grundy County, IL

Put simply, if a reasonably prudent truck driver could or should have seen the victim's car and avoided it then one who failed to do so would have some answering to do (as would his employer). However, if investigations show the crash was out of the trucker's hands then it wouldn't be right to blame him.

That may sound like something law enforcement will work out, but unfortunately police don't always have the tools, training, or time to find all the answers after a wreck like this. Making sure independent investigators look into the details could be crucial for getting the victim's loved ones the answers and help they deserve.

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