A key piece of evidence in a fatal I-80 double crash in 2018 leads to the arrest of a truck driver from Calumet City. The family of 31-year old Joliet native Aaron Scofield took to the airwaves including WJOL and social media asking for the public’s help for answers to identify the truck driver, who did not stop after an initial collision. Scofield’s stepfather Jim Brodnicki says after their 5th interview on local tv and radio, including at WJOL’s RUSH meeting, Illinois State Police got a big lead. ISP received an anonymous letter detailing the crash.
The family was not told what was in the letter. It was on January 18th, 2018 at 4 a.m. that Scofield’s car stalled in the center lane of eastbound I-80, just east of I-355, when a semi, changing lanes from the right lane to the center lane, struck Scofield’s 2011 Kia Soul, disabling the vehicle on the side of the road. Scofield was killed when his stalled vehicle was struck by a second vehicle. The driver of the truck did not stop.
On August 20th, Illinois State Police have arrested 38-year old Carrifthian N. Lester of Calumet City for failure to report an accident involving personal injury or death. Lester has been transported to the Will County Jail and is awaiting a bond hearing.
Original story below from family of Aaron Scofield
It was in the cold, early morning hours of Thursday, January 18th, when Aaron Scofield’s car stalled in the center lane of eastbound I-80, just east of I-355, when a semi, changing lanes from the right lane to the center lane, struck Scofield’s 2011 Kia Soul, disabling the vehicle on the side of the road. Scofield was killed when his stalled vehicle was struck by a second vehicle.
Now, the parents of 31-year old Aaron Scofield are asking for the public’s help for answers they hope can identify the truck driver, who did not stop after the initial collision. Scofield’s stepfather, Jim Brodnicki believes, “The (truck) driver was the one who initiated this entire accident.”
Brodnicki says there is no question in his mind that the truck driver knew they had hit Scofield’s vehicle, but left the scene anyway, “When the state police saw the damage to the vehicle, it was a pretty significant hit, and that’s why they say they know the driver of the truck definitely knew what he did.”
Scofield’s mother, Linda Brodnicki, tells WJOL’s “Slocum in the Morning Show,” that after the initial impact from the semi, a second vehicle struck Scofield’s car, as Scofield was trying to step out of his vehicle, “When the second vehicle did hit Aaron’s car on the driver’s side, the airbags didn’t deploy on that side, like they did on the right side, with the initial impact, which leads us to believe that the engine was dead and the left airbags didn’t deploy.”
The Brodnicki’s say that several other drivers stopped their vehicles to aid Scofield after the two crashes, but those good Samaritans left once paramedics arrived. They are now asking that those good Samaritans, and any other witnesses to the crash, which took the life of their son, contact the Illinois State Police in District 5 at 815-726-6377.
The family’s goal is to identify the truck driver, who they believe is responsible for the initial accident.