Man charged with obstructing justice in July 7 death of business partner
Online Staff Report
At 5:03 p.m., Saturday July 7, Winnebago County Sheriff’s deputies were sent to the rear loading dock area of the Lowe’s store, 9700 N. Alpine, in regard to a medical assist.
Upon arrival, they found Erwin Guzman, 47, of Round Lake Heights, Ill., down on the pavement. He was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
An autopsy was conducted by the Winnebago County Coroner’s Office and death was found to be the result of crushing internal injuries.
Winnebago County Sheriff’s detectives initiated an investigation, and the following was learned.
Guzman was employed by a firm out of Bolingbrook, Ill., contracted by Lowe’s to deliver appliances to customers and haul away the old appliances. The old appliances were then stored in a semi trailer in the loading dock area.
Guzman and his partner, Jose R.Gaitan, 52, also of Round Lake Heights, Ill., and employed by the same firm, had emptied their truck of appliances and had loaded them in the semi trailer. The truck emptied was owned by Gaitan.
Guzman was closing the doors of the semi trailer when the truck being driven by Gaitan accidentally rolled back into Guzman, trapping him between the two trucks, causing the injuries. Gaitan went to Guzman’s aid and contacted 911. However, Gaitan provided false information at the scene as to how the incident took place.
The case was reviewed with the Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office. Gaitan was subsequently charged with obstructing justice (for providing the false information). He is in custody at the Winnebago County Jail.
Posted July 12, 2012
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