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Local

Details emerge in Batavia fatal accident as police investigate


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BATAVIA – More details are emerging about an accident that killed an Aurora man Friday morning in the parking lot of Aldi’s headquarters on Kirk Road.

Raymond VanPelt, 53, of Aurora, who was killed in the accident, worked for Black Horse Carriers trucking company, a contractor with Aldi. Black Horse and Aldi share a parking lot.

“They (Black Horse) do all of their trucking for Aldi,” Batavia Police Det. Kevin Bretz said on Tuesday.

A preliminary investigation by Batavia police showed that semitrailer driver Patrick Karns, 46, of Sandwich, was backing up to a semitrailer to move it elsewhere in the parking lot.

Karns did not see VanPelt walking behind the semi-tractor and accidentally backed over him, Bretz said.

“He’s saying he didn’t see him,” Bretz said. “It was a tragic accident.”

Batavia police, the Kane County Coroner’s Office, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration continue to investigate the accident.

“Aldi is deeply saddened by this tragic event and our hearts go out to Mr. VanPelt’s family,” Julie Ketay, senior vice president of crisis and issues management at Chicago-based Weber Shandwick, said in a statement. “Safety at our facilities is always our top concern and we are cooperating fully with OSHA to determine the cause of the accident.”

Ketay said the accident occurred on Aldi’s property.

The complex at 1200 N. Kirk Road serves as the U.S. headquarters for Aldi.

Al Gerber, director of safety for Black Horse Carriers, said he could not discuss the accident because it was still under investigation.

Karns works as a technician for Penske Truck Leasing, said Alen Beljin, public relations manager for Penske.

“Black Horse Carriers is a customer of Penske,” Beljin said. “We want to express our condolences to the family of Raymond VanPelt.”

Penske is cooperating with local authorities and OSHA with the investigation, Beljin said.

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