A semi-tractor truck driver who struck a 22-year-old female pedestrian on the night of July 31 while turning onto the I-290 Harlem Avenue entrance ramp had been driving more than 14 hours without sleep, a violation of national truck driving safety laws, according to Forest Park police.
Witnesses told police that at around 10:10 p.m. the white 2005 Freightliner driven by Nurridin A. Rakhmanov, 36, of Denver, turned the corner westbound onto the ramp at a high rate of speed from southbound Harlem Avenue.
According to one witness, the passenger side of the cab rode up onto the sidewalk striking the victim and severing her leg below the knee. The truck continued onto the highway without stopping.
Forest Park police were quickly on the scene, administering a tourniquet to the woman’s leg and radioing out a description of the truck. Witnesses in cars followed the truck to the Mannheim Road exit, where the driver pulled off the road and Forest Park officers were met by a state police patrol.
The driver “looked very upset and just sat down on the side of the road and put his head in his hands,” according to the police report. Rakhmanov reportedly was cooperative with police and returned to the station where he told detectives he did not know he had struck a pedestrian and remembered looking in his pedestrian-side mirror and not seeing anything.
Rakhmanov was taken to the hospital where his blood was drawn to check for alcohol or drugs. Those results were sent to the Illinois State Police crime lab. Forest Park police said there was no evidence to indicate Rakhmanov was impaired at the time of the accident.
According to driving logs, Rakhmanov had been driving more than 14 hours without a rest, police said. The federal legal limit is no more than 11 hours of driving in a 14-hour period. He reportedly said there was “nowhere close to stop and rest.”
He was charged with a violation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act. The vehicle was otherwise in compliance with regulations, Forest Park police reported.
The victim was transported to a nearby hospital where her condition was “not life-threatening,” said Forest Park Sgt. Peter Morrissette.