Icy roads cause hundreds of crashes, at least 4 deaths in Chicago area

John Keilman and Alicia Fabbre, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Weather News

Pogwizd said his car was still under the gas pump 31/2 hours later because authorities were treating it as a hazmat scene. But he was looking on the bright side: His boss gave him the day off, he said, "Plus, (the gas station) is giving me free food and coffee, so it's not that bad."

Stevens said the gas station, at 88th Avenue and 95th Street, temporarily closed because of the crashes but has since reopened.

State police said the tollways in the southern part of the Chicago area were a mess, with officers responding to about 50 crashes in the early morning.

Master Sgt. Nick Hasan said one person was killed about 5:35 a.m. in a two-vehicle crash on southbound Interstate 294, just south of the Hinsdale Oasis, though he did not have details.

He said poor conditions led to intermittent shutdowns on Interstates 355 and 88 as well, with some motorists resorting to extreme measures to escape the slick roads.

"A lot of people abandoned their vehicles," he said. "I guess they felt unsafe out there."

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At least one person was killed when a car struck a parked semi around 1:30 a.m. near 145th Street and Indiana Avenue in south suburban Riverdale, police said. The car became wedged underneath the truck, trapping the driver as the car caught fire, police said.

Around 5:45 a.m., a person died when a car and semi collided on LaGrange Road just north of 175th Street in Tinley Park, according to Fire Chief Forest Reeder. The driver of the car died.

In Kane County, a fatal crash involving three cars and a Pace bus occurred around 7 a.m. on Illinois Highway 31 north of Oak Street near North Aurora. The driver of one of the cars was pronounced dead at the scene, according to a news release.

The bus had two occupants who were uninjured. The bus driver was taken to a hospital with minor injuries. Police said it appeared icy road conditions were a factor.


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