Slick, Snowy Roads Blamed For Deadly Crash, Many Spinouts
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UPDATED 12/09/11 2:07 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — The first measurable snowfall of the year might not have seemed like a big deal by Chicago winter standards, but it is being blamed for at least one deadly accident during the morning commute.
Theresa Lang, 29, of Minooka, was killed in a crash on Interstate 80 in Troy Township near Joliet, police say. Her car went off the road and slammed into something, according to officials.
Lang was a 2000 graduate of Joliet Catholic Academy.
The weather was also suspected in a crash that killed a man on I-80, although state police have not confirmed that the weather is to blame.
Andres Pita-Jamon, 29, was driving a car that was struck by a semi-trailer truck on the westbound I-80 overpass near New Lenox. He was pronounced dead at 2:44 a.m. at Silver Cross Hospital in Joliet, according to the Will County Coroner’s office.
Westbound I-80 was shut down at Route 71 during the 6 a.m. hour.
A pickup truck driver was also killed in a crash on the Eisenhower Expressway, but that was the result of a traffic violation and not the weather, Illinois State Police say.
The driver was outside the pickup when a box truck traveled onto the shoulder, striking the pickup and the driver, an Illinois State Police District Chicago trooper said.
The driver’s identity could not immediately be provided pending notification of family.
Numerous crashes and spinouts were reported across the Chicago area.
Among the most serious incidents was a seven-car accident on the Kennedy Expressway at Cumberland Avenue around 3:15 a.m. Friday. The outbound lanes were briefly shut down as crews removed the cars from the expressway.
Several crashes were also reported on the Ohio Street feeder ramp to the Kennedy Expressway, the Chicago Tribune reported. Accidents were also reported on the Kennedy northbound at Division and North Avenue, on the Bishop Ford Freeway and Tri-State Tollway, the newspaper reported.
Numerous crashes were also reported on the Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway – particularly just east of the Fox River, where in some cases, it was very icy. Near Route 59, a couple of pickup trucks spun out and hit each other, and one hit the wall, CBS 2’s Kris Habermehl reports.
In Elgin, Route 25 was closed between Kenyon and Dunham roads, and in Tinley Park, the intersection of Harlem Avenue and 155th Street was closed. The intersection of Foster Avenue and Pulaski Road on the city’s Northwest Side was also shut down.
In Naperville, Route 59 was blocked at Ogden Avenue, where a pole came down.
A crash also snagged Lake Shore Drive at the junction with the Stevenson Expressway around 5 a.m., CBS 2’s Derrick Young reported.
During the morning rush, State Police asked that motorists involved in minor accidents exchange information and report it later, and only report major accidents right away.
The snow Friday morning made this year tie with 1948 for the fifth latest first measurable snowfall ever in the Chicago area. A snow total of 0.1 inches is required for to qualify as measurable snowfall; about 0.5 inches fell at O’Hare International Airport.
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.