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Street Sweeper Driver Accused of Running Red Light in Fatal Accident

The single charge against the driver of a street sweeper that a witness said caused a three-vehicle crash in Orland Park, killing a mother, father and daughter from Tinley Park, is the traffic citation. The crash is still being investigated.

A witness to a three-vehicle accident in Orland Park Sunday night that caused the death of three Tinley Park family members told police a street sweeper ran a red light at an intersection, which led to the crash.

The man driving the street sweeper has been cited with disobeying a traffic control device for running the red light, Commander John Keating said Thursday.

“One witness saw the whole accident in its entirety and clearly stated the street sweeper disobeyed the red light, making no attempt to stop,” Keating said. “We won’t be getting into specifics of where that witness was until the accident reconstruction is complete.”

Police have held off from releasing the street sweeper driver’s name pending the crash’s investigation.

“Additional charges are possible, but we won’t know until after the reconstruction, vehicle inspection, and other investigative procedures take place,” Keating said. “At this point it is just the red light ticket.”

The street sweeper was on duty and headed to a job site when the crash happened, Keating said.

“We don’t have any indication that he was working near the crash site,” Keating said. “We just know he was working and on duty at the time.”

The street sweeper was heading north on LaGrange Road, . The Camry then struck a red Ford pickup truck parked on 171st Street, waiting to turn onto LaGrange. The street sweeper rolled onto its side, the pickup’s front end was damaged and the Camry was severely damaged, to the point where the passengers needed “heavy extrication” to be removed, authorities said.

Mother Wafieh N. Deis, 49, and daughter Samah N. Deis, 15, were pronounced dead at the scene, while husband and father Nazai M. Deis, 62, died later at Palos Community Hospital, according to a release from the police department. A 24-year-old daughter of Wafieh and Nazai Deis was driving the Camry, and was taken to Silver Cross Hospital where she was treated for "non life-threatening injuries," police said.

The street sweeper driver was taken to Palos and later released. The two people in the truck refused treatment at the scene, according to the .

Blood and urine samples were collected from the street sweeper driver and sent for drug and alcohol testing, per requirements in such accidents, Keating said.

Mokena-based Midwest Maintenance, owners of the street sweeper, has retained legal counsel.

 

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Kathie April 20, 2012 at 01:06 PM
What a terrible tragedy. My sympathy to Samah's sisters, family and friends.
Carrie Frillman April 20, 2012 at 06:13 PM
I second that, Kathie.
D Greg April 20, 2012 at 06:46 PM
Such a sad story. It's scary how things can change in a brief moment
EPS April 21, 2012 at 02:15 PM
Bad intersection. My daughter was involved in a similar accident a few years ago. Luckily with minor injuries. Cars heading north are racing to beat the light. Something needs to be done to slow traffic down before the light or this will continue to occur.

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