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Article posted: 2/3/2013 4:47 PM

Vernon Twp. man killed, four injured in I-294 crash

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Police continue to investigate what killed a Vernon Township man pronounced dead after a three-vehicle crash early Sunday morning on Interstate 294 in Lake County.

State police as well as the Deerfield Fire Department responded at 6:47 a.m. to the crash on southbound I-294 near Lake-Cook Road. According to preliminary reports, a car rear-ended a tow truck while driving south, said Illinois State Police Sgt. Carlita Joe.

The driver of the tow truck reportedly exited his vehicle to speak to the driver of the car, when a third unit -- a taxi with two passengers -- hit the first car and began to spin out. The taxi hit the driver of the tow truck who was standing in the roadway, but Joe said that man is recovering with a few broken bones.

The driver of the first car, Cesar Salas, 39, of Prairie View was pronounced dead after the crash, according to the Lake County coroner.

Four others, including the tow truck driver, were transported to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge with nonlife-threatening injuries, state police said.

Police said it was unclear whether Salas suffered some sort of medical issue, died on impact from the first crash with the tow truck, or the second impact with the taxi.

Because of light traffic and time of day there were no serious delays on the tollway, Joe said.

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