Updated 5/4/11 9:53 p.m.

NORTHBROOK, Ill. (STMW) – Four people were injured in a “devastating” chain reaction crash caused by a speeding driver on the Edens Spur near suburban Northbrook Wednesday evening.

The three-vehicle crash happened about 4:45 p.m. on the Edens Spur near Skokie Boulevard, Northbrook Fire Dept. District Chief Patrick Crown said. Seven ambulances were sent to the scene and four people were taken to area hospitals, Crown said.

Traffic was heavily backed up when a driver was traveling at a high rate of speed and didn’t stop. His vehicle then rear-ended a second vehicle, which caused a third vehicle to rear-end that second vehicle. A fourth vehicle also crashed into the third, Illinois State Police District 15 Master Sgt. Julio Serrano said.

The most serious of the injuries included the driver and passenger of the second vehicle involved in the crash, Serrano said. The driver suffered a “broken back,” while the impact ruptured the passenger’s spleen, he said. Both were taken to Evanston Hospital.

The driver of the offending vehicle was also injured and taken to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge. His injuries were also considered “pretty serious,” Serrano said.

The driver of the third vehicle was also injured and taken to Highland Park Hospital with very minor injuries,” Serrano said.

Crown said firefighters from the Glencoe, Deerfield, Glenview, Northfield, Highland Park and Skokie fire departments responded to the scene and the high number of responding ambulances was to ensure those firefighters would be medically treated if needed.

“There were so many fireman sent in just, such a devastating car accident,” Crown said.

A Flight for Life helicopter was on stand-by, but ultimately not used to transport patients, Crown said.

Charges are pending against the offending driver as of 9 p.m. Illinois State Police are investigating.

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