3 Hurt When Wrong-Way Driver Hits Car, Van On Lake Shore Drive
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UPDATED 02/09/12 2:10 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — In a headline that is becoming all too familiar, three people are hurt – one critically – after a wrong-way driver slammed into multiple vehicles, this time on Lake Shore Drive.
As CBS 2’s Derrick Young reports, emergency crews responded around 2 a.m. to the Drive at Roosevelt Road.
A woman was headed north in the southbound lanes of Lake Shore Drive in a red Nissan sportscar when she first slammed into a white Toyota Corolla, then a brown van that were headed in the right direction.
The Nissan was so severely damaged that the roof had to be torn off to reach the woman inside and the man riding with her. The Toyota Corolla was damaged in both the front and rear, and the van was also severely damaged.
The woman and man who had been in the Nissan were taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, as was the driver of the Corolla, police said.
A Fire Department spokesman said two people were taken in serious-to-critical condition and one was in fair-to-serious condition.
Traffic on southbound Lake Shore Drive was blocked between Balbo Drive and Roosevelt Road for a more than two hours after the accident, but tow trucks eventually came through and cleared the debris.
By 5 a.m., Lake Shore Drive was moving smoothly in both directions.
It was not clear whether alcohol was involved in the crash.
This was the fourth high-profile wrong-way crash in the Chicago area in the recent months, and the third in just the past week.
Early this past Monday, Gustavo Vargas, 29, and his three passengers had just left the Skybox gentlemen’s club in Harvey when he made a U-turn and started heading east in the westbound lanes of Interstate 80 near Kedzie Avenue. Vargas slammed his Infiniti into a Ford Explorer, killing two of his passengers – Jorge Pina, 28, and Armando Ruiz, 29, and the driver of the Explorer, Jason Wepsiec, 35.
This past Friday morning, a suspected drunken driver headed the wrong way for 6 miles on the Stevenson Expressway. Rakesh J. Baker, 23, was first spotted driving the wrong way in a Jeep sport-utility-vehicle on the Stevenson near Kedzie Avenue, and finally slammed head-on into another vehicle on the ramp from southbound Lake Shore Drive to the inbound Stevenson around 3 a.m.
Four people were left in critical condition in that incident.
Back in December, Sergio Galez-Delira, 24, of Glenview, barreled into incoming traffic on the Edens Expressway and headed north in the southbound lanes from Elston Avenue all the way north to Glencoe. He did not hit any cars, but spurred many drivers to place terrified calls to 911.
Galez-Delira told CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez that he was drunk, and was also on anti-depressants at the time. He called the wrong-way misadventure “one of the biggest mistakes I’ve ever done.”
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.