Charles Cullen wonders if things could have been different.
Melinda Cullen, his daughter-in-law, was driving home from work on I-80 when the wheel hub of a semi-tractor trailer became detached and smashed into her car’s windshield, Illinois police say. The 100-pound object struck Cullen at around 2:20 p.m. Tuesday near Joliet, Illinois, according to WGN9, and she was rushed to the hospital.
She was pronounced dead after arriving there, NBC Chicago reported.
Cullen was a mother of three daughters aged 15 months, five-years-old and eight-years-old, according to WGN9. She was also pregnant and due to deliver her son in just 10 days.
Her unborn child didn’t survive, according to NBC.
It’s been a tragedy for Charles Cullen’s family, and especially his son Dave.
"You don't expect something like this here, how it happened," Cullen told ABC7. "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."
Rob Bishop, a witness to the deadly freak accident, told ABC7 that Cullen probably “probably never saw it coming.”
"First thing I thought of was that could happen to anyone at any time,” he said. “There was two state police officers next to (the car) and there was a pretty big gaping hole in the windshield right in front of where the driver's face would have been.”
Police said that a wheel hub from the truck’s rear tractor axle detached, causing the object to fly and strike Cullen and her 2016 GMC Acadia, according to Patch. Authorities announced charges against the truck’s driver, 59-year-old Antanas Serevia.
They allege that he violated the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act by having unsafe equipment on his vehicle.