An Algonquin Middle School teacher injured in a Thursday morning car crash with a truck in Rosemont was listed in critical condition Friday at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge.
John Huffaker, 31, of Chicago, had to be extricated from his Ford Explorer, which was trapped beneath a semitrailer that police say made an improper turn.
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Huffaker was on his way to teach eighth-grade social studies at the Des Plaines school when the crash occurred at approximately 7:50 a.m. at the Lee Street exit ramp from the westbound Jane Addams Memorial Tollway.
The truck driver, 32-year-old Jimmie Hodges of Riverdale, was charged with failure to yield, according to Rosemont police.
News of the accident spread quickly among the Des Plaines school community through the school's parent-teacher association and Facebook posts. Algonquin Middle School sent a letter home with students.
"Everyone is devastated," said Beth Morley of Des Plaines who is on the Algonquin PTA board and whose daughter was a former student of Huffaker, and is now a sophomore at Maine West. "He is so well loved. He is such an excellent teacher. It's very sad. Every kid that ever had him just loves him."
Des Plaines Elementary District 62 spokeswoman Mindy Ward said Algonquin Middle School has made social workers available for students and staff members who need to talk about the accident.
"They are there to counsel students, if they need it, to help them and the staff through that," she said.