The passenger in last weekend’s tractor-trailer accident is now in critical condition, according to University of Kansas Hospital spokesperson Bob Hallinan.
Aurora, Colo. resident Roman Ilyaich, 25, was airlifted to the hospital early Saturday morning after the trailer-tractor driven by his friend crashed into a Kansas Turnpike tollbooth on Interstate 70 near Tonganoxie. The truck’s driver, Sergiy Angelchev, also of Aurora, died at the scene. He was 30.
Ilyaich was in serious but stable condition when his girlfriend and father spoke with reporters Wednesday. Anna Zlotnikova then said Ilyaich had not yet responded to visitors and that his injuries were traumatic. She and Ilyaich’s father, Yukhay Ilyaich, asked for prayers for Roman’s recovery.
“We need him back,” Zlotnikova said. “Trust me, the world needs him back.”
Ilyaich was accompanying Angelchev on his first cross-country trip for California-based trucking company Eastern Freight Solutions. The two began their trip in California and reached New York before the fatal collision here on the way back.
Angelchev appeared to be asleep in photos taken just before the crash, his manager confirmed Tuesday. According to a Kansas accident report, neither man was wearing a seat belt.