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

Elsewhere, about 10 cars were involved in a crash on southbound of I-57 at 159th Street in Markham, according to state police. A crash involving two semis was reported on the southbound Tri-State Expressway near I-57.

In Joliet, police responded to at least 51 traffic crashes between 4 and 9 a.m., Deputy Chief Edgar Gregory said. More than half of those occurred between 4:30 and 6:30 a.m..

"They've just been running from call to call," Gregory said late Wednesday morning. "It was just treacherous road conditions out there."

At about 7 a.m. the city sent a reverse 911 call to warn residents to stay off the icy roads.

Gregory said the city had multiple street closures in the early-morning hours. Near I-80 and Center Street, police and firefighters responded to a string of five crashes. One of the firetrucks responding to the crashes also was struck, Gregory said.

Will County sheriff's deputies also responded to numerous crashes and calls to assist motorists. At 10:30 a.m., deputies were on the scene of an overturned semi-truck on Wilmington/Peotone Road east of Illinois Highway 53, Sgt. Klye Lakomiak said. He estimated deputies had responded to 75 to 100 cases throughout the morning.


The official National Weather Service forecast called for occasional freezing drizzle in parts of the area Wednesday morning. Drizzle was expected to mixed with flurries mainly along and south of I-88 in northeast Illinois and in northwest Indiana and then is expected to transition to all flurries by the late morning.

For far northern and north central Illinois, the light precipitation is mainly flurries/light snow, possibly with very patchy freezing drizzle at times, according to the forecast.

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