Illegal in plow truck kills...

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by Grass Happens, Dec 5, 2007.

  1. Grass Happens

    Grass Happens LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 682

    Nothwest herald-12/5/07
    Woodstock, IL
    ((WOODSTOCK – The survivor of a deadly crash said Monday that he had no warning before a pick-up truck fitted with a snowplow struck him and his friend as they walked home from a birthday celebration.

    “I just turned around and saw headlights and the next thing I know, I was in a pile of snow,” said Jeff Combs, who suffered minor injuries. “Everything spun really quickly. I’m just lucky to be alive.”

    His friend, Christopher Foat, 23, of Woodstock wasn’t so lucky. Foat died in a hospital shortly after the 2:10 a.m. Sunday crash on the 500 block of Clay Street.

    On Monday, a judge set bond for Antonio Escorza, 37, at $200,000 on a charge of aggravated drunken driving in connection with the fatal crash. If convicted, he could be sentenced from three to 14 years in prison.

    Foat’s mother described her son, a 2002 Woodstock High School graduate, as an amazing young man who loved football.

    “He was a wonderful human being,” Sally Foat said. “He was so caring and so thoughtful. Everybody loved him.”

    Christopher Foat worked as a mail carrier for the Crystal Lake Post Office and was a full-time student at McHenry County College, his mother said. Her son aspired to be a postal inspector and one day a history teacher, she said.

    The men were struck from behind as they walked with a group of five friends, Combs said. He said they were headed to Foat’s apartment, 1416 Clay St., where he lived with his girlfriend, Shannon Friedel.

    The group was out celebrating her 21st birthday at a nearby bar, Combs said. He said they were not drunk but “had a few beers.”

    Foat had planned to propose to Friedel at Disney World on Dec. 20, Foat’s mother said.

    Combs, 24, said they walked along the side of the street, because the sidewalks were too slippery. He said they were no farther in the roadway than a parked car would be. The men walked side by side. Foat was closest to the street’s center.

    “It was awful,” Combs said. “He was lying there in the street. There was blood everywhere.”

    The driver didn’t immediately stop after striking the men, police said.

    One of their friends, Jake Chaffee, 23, of Woodstock tried to chase down the driver after he allegedly fled. Chaffee said he would remember good times that he had with Foat over the past 10 years.

    “Everyone wanted to hang out with him,” Chaffee said. “All of his friends loved him and we’ll miss him forever.”

    Police found the truck parked a few blocks away in the driveway at 703 Clay St., where they arrested Escorza. He remained in custody at the McHenry County Jail on Monday. U.S. Immigrations and Customs officials have placed a hold on Escorza’s bond, which usually indicates that a defendant is in the country illegally.

    Escorza also was charged with fleeing the scene of a fatal crash and failure to reduce speed to avoid a crash. A passenger in his truck was not charged. Authorities said they believed Escorza was drinking at a Woodstock restaurant before the crash.

    The truck appeared to be a private vehicle and was not plowing when it struck, said Tom Carroll, first assistant in the McHenry County state’s attorney’s office.

    From his home Monday, Combs said he was just beginning to cope with the tragedy.

    “It shouldn’t have happened,” Combs said. “Those guys just went through us like we weren’t even there.”

    The group walked, instead of drove, to Foat’s apartment because it was so close and to be safe, Combs said.

    “It’s always just the sensible thing to do after you’ve had a couple of beers,” Comb said. “You don’t want to risk anything.”

    Visitation for Foat will be from 3 to 9 p.m. Thursday at Schneider-Leucht-Merwin & Cooney Funeral Home, 1211 N. Seminary Ave., Woodstock. Funeral services will be conducted at the funeral home at 11 a.m. Friday. Interment will follow in the McHenry County Memorial Park in Woodstock.))
     
  2. J&R Landscaping

    J&R Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,096

    Thats tough! Prayers go out to who all were involved! Did you know any of the people involved?
     
  3. Grass Happens

    Grass Happens LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 682

    No, i did not. I heard about it on the radio, and it just made me really really mad. Don't get me wrong, I realize that citizens drink and hurt people with plows as well, although i dont remember hearing of anything like this. But *if* he is an illegal, and it seems that he is, that kid should still be alive. If he was illegal, he obviously had no license or insurance, meaning that kids family wont see a red cent; meanwhile all of our insurances will go up, just because it can. I'm also going to take it that he got paid to plow, or why else would he have a plow? I hope that everybody who paid him to do work realizes they had a hand in that kids death.
     
  4. DBL

    DBL LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,219

    thats sad.....i have no sympathy for dui
     
  5. mojob

    mojob LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 515

    Hopefully, the guy was driving one of his employer's trucks and he has insurance. If he knew the guy was an illegal or doesn't have insurance, I hope he gets what he deserves.
     
  6. DLAWNS

    DLAWNS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,778

    Hearing things like this make me so mad. I wish all the best to the families.
     
  7. TURFLORD

    TURFLORD LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 834

    Sometimes certain things need to be said, especially in the face of blatant affrontery and hypocracy. First off, my sympathies to the dummy that decided to walk in the middle of the street at 3 AM, drunk, and in icy conditions. The truck had a blade on it. That means it was running with plow lights and not normal headlights reducing peripheral vision. I don't know about you, but my momma taught me not to play in traffic. And as a point of note, if it was possible to chastize an entire race of people and expel them en masse for the actions of one individual, that means the dummy would probably have been run over by a fat, lazy, unemployed, under the table, collecting unemployment, American instead.
     
  8. mojob

    mojob LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 515

    If you would have read the whole post and not just the parts that interested you, you would have seen where they weren't in the middle of the road, and they weren't drunk. They had some drinks and did the responsible thing and walked the short distance toward home. They would have been on the sidewalk but they were too icy. This guy shouldn't have been in the country in the first place and it's not an isolated incident. Illegals are involved in this kind of stuff all the time. If this happened to you or someone you cared about then I'm sure you'd feel the same way. But it sounds like you were raised by wolves or illegals, maybe.
     
  9. Grits

    Grits LawnSite Silver Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 2,994

    You must be a Mexican. Don't talk trash about legal Americans. If you think this way about the American people, go back to Mexico.....maybe you will be happier there.
    I hope they round up ALL the illegal Mexicans and ship them back across the border. I can't wait for that fence to be built.
    Locally, we just had 25 illegals get caught. Thank the lord. They all worked at a Mexican restaurant (they did make some good food though), come to find out they were big time into selling cocaine and crystal meth.....they were distributing it all around the southeast and probably further. Big time drug operation.
    If these are the type of people you get from Mexico, then, personally, I don't want them here. CLOSE THE DOORS!!!
    Not to mention the majority of illegals in the USA don't even have the courtesy to learn our language. Screw all of them. They are bad for the economy, too. I really don't have a use for them!
     
  10. Johnson LCO

    Johnson LCO LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 336

    Crap like this makes me so angry. About two miles from my house, 4 drunk illegals in a newly bought bmw hit a guy and killed him going at a speed in excess of 65 mph. This is not a highway, keep in mind. His family is screwed, because there is no insurance money from the people who hit him. To make it worse, the families of the illegals put out a collection to ship their bodies back to mexico and help the one that survived. There was no mention of a collection for the the american that was killed or his family. FYI, the 23 year old died, he lived for a while in the hospital but could not hold on. Here is the article:
    Underage drinking blamed for crash
    Mexican immigrants die in high-speed crash near Newark
    By TERRI SANGINITI, The News Journal

    Posted Wednesday, October 31, 2007

    Jose Juan Garcia Ortiz was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.


    Francisco Rodriguez Contreras had been studying for a degree in architecture in Mexico.

    Three friends from Mexico working construction jobs in the United States were killed Monday night in a horrific crash north of Newark that left a fourth friend, as well as the driver of another vehicle, clinging to life.

    All that remained Tuesday morning at the site of the two-car collision at Paper Mill and Possum Park roads at Milford Crossroads were two orange traffic cones and shards of broken glass.

    On the grassy roadside were part of a car door, floor mats emblazoned with the letters BMW, two Burger King hats and pieces of a rear-view mirror.

    State police fatal-accident investigators, still trying to determine the dynamics leading up to the triple fatality, concluded that speeding and the driver's underage drinking led to the crash.

    State police Cpl. Jeff Whitmarsh said the four friends were riding together in a green BMW, operated by unlicensed driver Israel Palmero Merida, 17, of Bear.

    The vehicle was reportedly owned by Hector Villa Gran-Merida, 18, of Hanover Way near New Castle, who was in the back seat. Gran-Merida was still making payments on the recently purchased car, a friend said.

    Merida, who police said had been drinking, was driving about 80 mph in a posted 50 mph zone about 9:40 p.m. Monday when he failed to negotiate a sharp curve on eastbound Paper Mill Road and lost control of the car.

    The crash was eerily similar to another fatal crash fueled by alcohol at that location seven years ago, which left a Pennsylvania man dead.

    But Whitmarsh, who still recalled the 2000 crash he investigated, said Monday night's crash was the worst collision he had ever witnessed in his 10 years on the police force.

    The speeding BMW struck a raised median before veering into oncoming traffic and plowing into a Honda Civic driven by Matthew Wilson, 23, of Squirrel Hill Court in Prices Corner.

    The BMW overturned and landed on the Honda's roof, then rolled several more times before striking a utility pole, which sheared it in half.

    Gran-Merida, the car's owner, was thrown from the back seat and landed on the shoulder of the road. He was found unconscious, suffering from wounds including massive head injuries. He was in critical condition Tuesday in a coma in Christiana Hospital's intensive care unit.

    Francisco Rodriguez Contreras, 20, who lived in the Sparrow Run community of Bear, was also in the rear seat. He was thrown from the car, and suffered massive head and internal injuries. Rodriguez Contreras, who came from Toluca, Mexico, died at the scene.

    Merida, the driver, and 15-year-old front-seat passenger Jose Juan Garcia Ortiz of the 400 block of Bedford Lane near New Castle were both trapped in the mangled wreckage and pronounced dead at the scene. Both came from the Mexican town of Zumpahuacán.

    Wilson, who was the sole occupant of the Honda, was trapped in the driver's seat of his car for about 30 minutes before he was freed.

    New Castle County paramedics Assistant Chief Richard D. Krett said the Honda's driver was unconscious and treated at the scene for a serious head injury and other wounds. He was in critical condition in Christiana Hospital's intensive care unit.

    Relatives of the three young men gathered Tuesday afternoon at Corleto Latina Funeral Home in Wilmington to begin making funeral arrangements.

    A family spokesman, who is helping to translate for relatives coordinating the arrangements, said none of the four crash victims was in the country legally.

    The family spokesman, who did not want to be identified, said all of the four friends worked two jobs, as construction laborers and fast food workers.

    "Francisco was here for 10 months," he said. "He was a bright guy attending college in Mexico and two years away from an architectural degree." Rodriguez Contreras was living with an uncle in the United States, where he had come to earn money to continue his education and help his little sister, the spokesman said.

    Merida, the driver, was living here with his 19-year-old brother and sending money to relatives in Mexico, the spokesman said. Ortiz was the cousin of Gran-Merida.

    Funeral director Anthony Latina said relatives have no money to hold a Mass or a viewing for their loved ones. "We're just going to ship their bodies back to Mexico," he said. "I'm doing what I can to help them."

    Donation jars will be placed in local stores and restaurants. People wishing to make donations may send them to Corleto Latina Funeral Home, 808 N. Union St., Wilmington DE 19805.
     

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