Driver Killed by Truck’s Wheel Hub Identified

March 9, 2018 Updated: March 9, 2018

The driver killed by a semi truck’s loose wheel hub in Jolliet, Illinois, has been identified as a pregnant mother of three.

Thirty-eight-year-old mother Melinda Cullen died on Tuesday, March 6, while she was driving police said, according to CBS affiliate KCTV.

At the time a truck driver was driving east on Interstate 80 when it’s wheel hub, (an automotive part inside a wheel) detached from its rear tractor axle. The loose part then crossed over into the westbound lanes and hit Cullen’s windshield.

She was rushed to the hospital where she was later pronounced dead.

Her unborn son, Jaxson Cash Cullen, was also killed in the crash, according to her obituary.

Cullen was due to give birth in just 10 days, ABC 7 Chicago reported.

The truck driver, Antanas Sereiva, 59, was charged with a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act violation for “unsafe equipment,” officials said, according to KCTV.

Cullen’s parents-in-law said they last saw her on Sunday.

“We would give anything to not see this happened,” Charles Cullen told ABC 7 Chicago. “We just lost so much.”

A witness to the scene said the loose tire directly hit Cullen’s car.

“First thing I thought of was that could happen to anyone at any time,” witness Rob Bishop told ABC 7 Chicago. “And that poor person in that vehicle probably never saw it coming…There was two state police officers next to it and there was a pretty big gaping hole in the windshield right in front of where the driver’s face would have been.”

Cullen is survived by her husband Dave Cullen and their three daughters aged 8, 5, and 15-months old.

“You don’t expect something like this here, how it happened. She was just in that place at that time. I sat up last night wondering if she would have been five minutes or 3 minutes, one way or the other, they would missed it,” Charles Cullen said.


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