The fatal two-vehicle accident occurred in the outbound lanes near Throop when the driver of a pickup truck lost control, veered across three expressway lanes, and crashed into a car parked at the side of the freeway in an emergency area, killing the 56-year-old driver of that vehicle.
The drivers of both vehicles were transported to Stroger Hospital. The driver of the pickup truck was injured but is expected to recover. He is suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, according to the Breaking News Center. He was detained by police but charges had not yet been filed. A 56-year-old South Mozart Street man was declared dead at 10:38 p.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Fox Chicago reported that speed may also have been a factor in the crash and that charges were expected to be filed against the 28-year-old driver. Illinois State Police report the 1998 green Buick LeSabre had pulled into the breakdown area for an unknown reason and was waiting to enter the right lanes of southbound I-55 when it was struck by the pickup.
Witnesses report the driver of the 1991 GMC pickup was traveling in the left lane at a high rate of speed before losing control and driving across traffic. The truck collided with the driver’s door of the LeSabre. FOX reports a blood test on the pickup’s driver revealed the presence of alcohol in his system and that he admitted to drinking six beers earlier in the evening.
One in three fatal Illinois car accidents are caused by a drunk driver; drunk driving accidents claimed the lives of 362 motorists in Illinois in 2008, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.