Driver Killed In Metra Crash Had Spotty Driving Record
By Samantha Abernethy in News on May 14, 2011 6:00PM
Police say the truck driver blamed for causing the collision with a Metra train in Mount Prospect Friday had a spotty driving record with over 50 citations since 1986, including one DUI. The driver, Kazimierz Karasek, 59, was killed in the crash after disobeying a no-turn sign and driving around crossing gates onto the tracks.
Most of his traffic citations were written before 2005 in Cook County for violations such as speeding, carrying overweight loads and driving the wrong way on a divided highway, according to court records.
He also accumulated more citations in Lake and DuPage counties, including the December 2000 drunken-driving arrest in Elmhurst.
Karasek had a valid driver's license and commercial driver's license. He was an independent contractor, who owned his truck and carried his own insurance. Karasek's truck was loaded with chunks of concrete when it drove onto the tracks. Upon impact, the cab was separated from the trailer, and the truck's fuel tanks caught fire. The first two train cars were derailed, and 26 people were taken to area hospitals, including the train's engineer.