• November 17, 2023

Kenneth A. Bolte Killed in Semi-Truck Accident in Grundy County, IL

Grundy County, IL — November 15, 2023, Kenneth Bolte was killed as the result of a semi-truck accident at around 7:00 p.m. on Sherrill Road.

Authorities say the crash happened west of Minooka in Seward Township at the intersection of Sherrill Road and Grove Road.

According to the Grundy County Sheriff's Office, it appears 63-year-old Kenneth Bolte was in a pickup that was going eastbound on Sherrill. At the Grove Road intersection, authorities say that a southbound semi-truck pulled through a stop sign, and the two vehicles collided.

Kenneth A. Bolte Killed in Semi-Truck Accident in Grundy County, IL

Due to this collision, Bolte sustained injuries which proved to be fatal. There were no other confirmed injuries. There is not an official conclusion about the cause of the crash, however authorities say they issued a ticket to the truck driver for "failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident." They also say additional charges may be filed pending their investigations.

I certainly couldn't say what those charges would as that's not my place, but a lot of the details in these preliminary reports are commonly followed by serious charges. Authorities have said that the victim didn't have a stop sign, the truck driver did, and the truck driver didn't slow down, resulting in the collision. I can't recall a time I saw allegations like that where they didn't eventually outright blame the truck driver for running a stop sign. Maybe that didn't happen here, but it's a familiar chain of events, to say the least.

But even if authorities came out tomorrow with serious charges against the truck driver, that doesn't necessarily mean everything will be wrapped up neatly. I recall a serious truck wreck case I handled a while back, for example, where a truck driver turned across a highway in front of an approaching vehicle, causing a serious crash. Authorities were charging the truck driver for failing to yield, but the driver's employer denied responsibility for the victim's injuries. Why? According to them, the victim was speeding and not wearing a seatbelt.

Simply put, the police report didn't have enough information to help on that front. It was enough to prove that the truck driver failed to yield, but their priorities ended there. Fortunately, our independent investigations picked up the slack.

For one, the speedometer froze when the collision occurred, and that along with a roadway analysis proved the victim couldn't have been speeding leading up to the crash. Secondly, numerous emergency responders testified that they literally had to cut through the victim's seatbelt to get them out of the car. Thanks to that, our efforts and the efforts of authorities combined to work toward a proper conclusion for everyone involved.

That's why I always tell folks that there really are no straight-forward truck accidents. As damning as the initial reports may seem for this crash, we in the public are only seeing a small piece of the much larger picture behind the scenes. If the proper steps are taken by the right people to put all of those pieces together, it can make a world of difference for victims and families who have obstacles standing between them and the resolution they deserve.

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