JOLIET – The estate administrator of a man who died in a crash on Interstate 80 is suing a truck driver and the company he works for.
The lawsuit filed in Cook County court on Oct. 24 seeks damages against Douglass Norfleet, 46, of Chicago, and West Side Transport for the crash that led to the death of Jugoslav Djordjevic, 49, of LaGrange.
Sami S. Guzick, 50, of Joliet, was also killed in the crash.
The lawsuit demands trial by jury.
On Sept. 26, Guzick drove a truck tractor to replace a disabled truck tractor parked with its FedEx double trailer on the I-80 shoulder between Larkin Avenue and Houbolt Road shortly after 6 a.m., according to the state police.
Guzick was "outside assisting with the vehicles" when a tractor-trailer driven by Norfleet "veered off onto the right shoulder," state police said at the time.
Norfleet's truck slammed into the back of the disabled tractor-trailer and then hit Guzick "before becoming engulfed in flames," state police said. Jugoslav Djordjevic was the driver of the disabled tractor-trailer.
Guzick was pronounced dead at the scene. Jugoslav Djordjevic was hospitalized for his injuries and later succumbed to them. Norfleet had also been hospitalized for injuries.
Jennifer Djordjevic, Jugoslav Djordjevic’s estate administrator from Alabama, claims negligence on the part of Norfleet and his employer West Side Transport. The lawsuit also claims West Side Transport is liable for the damage caused by Norfleet.
A call to West Side Transport was not returned Friday. Kimberly Peil, the attorney representing Jennifer Djordjevic, declined to comment.
The lawsuit accuses Norfleet of driving his truck on the right shoulder of the roadway, traveling at an unreasonable speed, failing to avoid a collision, failing to maintain a proper lookout, failing to take evasive action, not operating a vehicle in safe condition and driving it in violation of federal regulations.
“At the time, defendants’ above-described negligent acts caused the tractor-trailer Norfleet was operating to collide with the commercial motor vehicle occupied by [Jugoslav Djordjevic], causing a large fire to engulf all three vehicles,” the lawsuit states.