Melinda Cullen, 38, was killed on the I-80 highway near Joliet, Illinois when a wheel hub fell off a truck and smashed into her windshield
A pregnant Illinois woman was killed while driving on a highway when a truck’s wheel fell off and struck her windshield.
Melinda Cullen, 38, a mother-of-three with one on the way, was violently killed on Tuesday afternoon on the I-80 highway near Joliet when a wheel hub smashed into her windshield.
The wheel came from a semi truck driving in the opposite direction. The truck was pulling a trailer, from which the 100lb wheel hub fell loose. The wheel fell off the trailer, entered highway traffic, and hit Cullen’s windshield.
Cullen, of Coal City, Illinois was killed instantly.
The horrific incident took place around 2:20pm. Her body was identified by the Will County Coroner’s Office.
A witness on the scene said the accident happened in a flash.
‘First thing I thought of was that could happen to anyone at any time,’ witness Rob Bishop said.
‘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,’ he added.
The spoken truck, above, is seen missing a wheel and hub as investigators inspect the scene of the incident where the loose 100lb wheel hub hit Cullen’s vehicle and killer her instantly
The loose tire (above) shattered Cullen’s windshield killing her and the expectant child, who was due in 10 days. The horrific accident took place near Joliet, Illinois
Cullen has three daughters, eight, five, and 15 months with her husband Dave Cullen and she was pregnant with her first son, who was due in 10 days at the time of the accident.
The baby did not survive the crash, according to NBC.
The driver of the semi truck was Antanas Sereiva, 59, of Bolingbrook, Illinois.
Sereive has been charged with a violation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act for having unsafe equipment, according to Police. Sereive has no previous record of federal violations.
Cullen’s family has released a statement thanking the public for the outpour of support in the wake of the heart-breaking accident.
‘The family of Melinda Cullen is grateful for the outpouring of support and love that they are receiving during this difficult time. Melinda was a devoted mother of three precious daughters and was expecting her first son, Jaxson in April. This tragic event has affected many, and we are reminded how Melinda always made special time for her family or anyone in need. The family requests for prayers and support as they process the loss of Melinda and her son Jaxson,’ a family spokesperson said.
Cullen (right) pictured with her husband Dave with whom she has three daughters ages eight, five, and 15 months
Cullen, pictured above with her children, was described as a devoted mother who ‘always made special time for her family or anyone in need’
A wake for Cullen, pictured right with husband Dave, is set for Friday with a funeral Saturday
A wake is scheduled for Friday and a funeral for Saturday.
In the mean time police are investigating the crash, calling for witnesses to come forward.
Her father in law Charles Cullen was left heart-broken by the devastating accident.
‘We would give anything to not see this happened. We just lost so much,’ he said to ABC30.
‘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 three minutes, one way or the other, they would missed it,’ he added.