A semi truck driver traveling north on the highway somehow lost control and drove cross the grassy center median into oncoming southbound traffic. This occurred just as the vehicle passed Glenwood Lansing Road.
After the truck entered the southbound lanes it collided with an SUV, which burst into flames, killing the driver. She has been identified as Mary Lacy. There were no passengers in the SUV. The truck came to a stop in the middle of the southbound lanes. The driver, a Valparaiso Indiana resident, was reportedly not hurt.
The Illinois State Police are handling the investigation and crash reconstruction. They’re trying to figure out what caused the trucker to lose control.
It is being reported that several sand barrels were hit by the truck. The barrels were being used to mark a construction zone. The Fox news story is speculating that the truck driver possibly drifted off the side of the road, struck a guardrail and then lost control, driving across the median and into oncoming traffic.
Once the state police investigation has been completed, they should be able to determine if speed played a role in the crash.
Police are reportedly speaking with the trucker. They will also be checking his log books to see if fatigue may have been a factor, and they will also investigate whether he was on his cell phone or texting. There was supposedly no evidence of drugs or alcohol playing a role.
It has not been reported if a Chicago personal injury law firm is involved in the case yet or if there is a civil lawsuit on file.
After the crash, both sides of the highway had to be shut down for a period of time.
According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, in the year 2010 alone there were 10,343 accidents involving tractor-trailers. Of those truck accidents, 84 resulted in fatalities and 1,836 resulted in injuries.
The State of Illinois further reports that semi truck accidents made up 9.8% of all fatal crashes last year. The number of fatal tractor-trailer crashes increased by over 35% from the year 2009, with the number of fatalities going up by 50%, from 64 in 2009 to 96 in 2010.