Trucker Escapes With His Life After DUI Motorist With Toddler Onboard Caused Fiery Crash
Woodstock, IL – A trucker is lucky to be alive after he was involved in a fiery collision with a woman who was determined to be driving under the influence at the time.
According to the The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO), the accident took place around 8:45 p.m. on Friday in the unincorporated town of Woodstock, located approximately 60 miles northwest of Chicago.
A preliminary investigation determined Gabriella Ortiz, 21, of Woodstock, was traveling southbound on Route 47 in a 2012 Chevrolet Cruz.
At the same time, a 2015 Western Star tractor without a trailer, driven by an unidentified 45-year-old Woodstock man, was headed north on Rte. 47.
Ortiz’s vehicle crossed over into the northbound lanes and struck the Western Star.
The impact caused the Western Star to exit the roadway to the east, where it collided with a tree and became fully engulfed in flames.
Amazingly, the driver was able to escape the semi without serious injury.
The Chevy Cruz exited the roadway to the west and left Ortiz trapped inside.
She had to be extricated by firefighters, according to MCSO.
Further, Ortiz’s two year old daughter was in the backseat.
MCSO said the child was not properly restrained at the time of the accident.
Both Ortiz and the toddler were transported to separate hospitals with non-life threatening injuries.
The trucker required no medical treatment after his involvement in the crash.
Photos from the scene reveal the Western Star completely incinerated as a result of the fire.
Investigators determined Ortiz was operating her vehicle under the influence of alcohol.
She was charged with driving under the influence (DUI).
An investigation is ongoing by MCSO’s Major Crash Investigation Unit.
In August 2019, Ortiz was involved in a single-vehicle rollover crash, also in Woodstock, where she was also the driver.
Local outlet Northwest Herald reported Ortiz was driving a Nissan Murano at the time of the crash.
An open bottle of alcohol was retrieved from the SUV following the accident.
No DUI charges came from that incident.
Ortiz is scheduled to appear in court on September 25 for Friday’s accident.
Photo courtesy Alex Vucha