David Schwarz, a 25-year employee of the Illinois Tollway and Teamsters Local 700 member, passed away this week after he was struck by a semi-trailer while working on
I-294 near Alsip.
David was out of his vehicle collecting debris on the shoulder with another Tollway worker when the semi hit him and did not stop. Police are still looking for the driver.
Illinois State Police Master Sergeant Don Orseno, also a Teamsters Local 700 member, told reporters that drivers must pay attention to the signs posted in work zones and are encouraged and obligated to slow down.
“David was a valued member of the union and we are deeply saddened to hear about the nature of his passing,” said Teamsters Local 700 President Becky Strzechowski. “As a union, we fight for the rights and protections of public employees, and we represent many members that face dangerous working conditions. David was a prime example of that and it’s a terrible tragedy that has been made even worse by a cowardly driver who couldn’t stop or come forward after the impact. I urge all motorists to take the advice of the Illinois State Police and slow down in work zones and pay attention to your surroundings. Remember that the people working on the highways just want to come home to their family at the end of the day.”
President Strzechowski, who is also the director of the Women’s Conference, asked for a moment of silence to honor David during the final day of the conference this week in San Antonio, Texas.