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updated: 7/24/2013 10:52 PM

Arlington Heights man dies after four-vehicle crash

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A 61-year-old Arlington Heights man has died of the injuries he sustained during a Wednesday morning crash that involved four vehicles near Channahon, authorities said.

John R. Hoeppel was pronounced dead at Presence St. Joseph Medical Center at 4:01 p.m. and his preliminary cause of death was an aortic rupture, Illinois State Police Master Sgt. Fred Rivera said. An autopsy is pending.

Rivera would not identify the 22-year-old Rushville, Ind., driver who was cited in the wreck.

The crash occurred at 6:35 a.m. on southbound I-55 just south of the I-80 interchange, police said. It involved a Nissan Xterra, an Audi Roadster, a semitrailer truck and a Volkswagen Beetle, Rivera said.

The Indiana man was driving the Nissan over the crest of a hill when he encountered slow traffic, police said.

"He attempted to stop but couldn't stop in time," Rivera said.

The Nissan rear-ended Hoeppel's Audi and pushed it into the rear of the semitrailer truck. The Nissan then lost control, rolled over and hit the Volkswagen, Rivera said. The Nissan ended up on the median wires that divide the highway, Rivera said.

The Indiana man and Hoeppel, who were both wearing seat belts, were the only people injured in the crash.

The Channahon Fire Department took both men to Presence St. Joseph Medical Center in Joliet. The Indiana man sustained nonlife-threatening injuries.

Hoeppel went into surgery just before noon, and the hospital staff pronounced him dead about four hours later, Rivera said. The Indiana man was cited for failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident, Rivera said.

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