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5 Vehicles, One Fatality In Monday's Stevenson Expressway Crash

By Stephen Gossett in News on Jul 26, 2016 4:20PM

Courtesy Chicago Fire Department

A total of five vehicles were involved in Monday’s fiery chain collision on the Stevenson Expressway near Cicero Ave., according to Illinois State Police.

According to a preliminary police investigation, a semi-tractor trailer truck, which was carrying 40,000 pounds of meat, collided at about 10:55 a.m. with a passenger vehicle. That vehicle then struck a minivan, which was then sent underneath the trailer of another semi truck. The second truck, which was hauling more the 17,000 pounds of flammable paint, then hit the back of a third passenger car. Four of the five vehicles immediately caught fire, according to police.

The driver of the minivan was killed in the accident. As of Tuesday morning, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office had not identified the victim. The body and van were unrecognizable as a result of the blaze, according to ISP.

The Chicago Fire Department extinguished the two-alarm fire roughly an hour after it ignited. The site was declared a Level 1 hazmat due to the paint haul.

Traffic was stopped in all directions until shortly before 2 p.m., when two lanes of northbound I-55 were reopened. All northbound opens at Cicero Ave. were opened shortly after 4 pm. Southbound opens remained closed until early Tuesday morning, according to IDOT.

Dramatic footage uploaded to Facebook by user Ryan Oliver—filmed before police and fire officials arrived on the scene—captures the large volume of fire and smoke.