Police: Lost wheel may have caused fatal I-94 crash
A 25-year-old Louisville, Kentucky, man was killed when the semitrailer truck he was driving crashed on I-94 early Friday, possibly after hitting a wheel on the roadway, police officials said.
The accident on westbound I-94 at 5:52 a.m. near Half Day Road in Lake Forest tied up traffic for several hours, Illinois State Police said.
Lake County Coroner Howard Cooper said Sharmarke Dahir was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy will be conducted Tuesday, after the coroner's office reopens after the Christmas holiday.
Three cars were involved in the accident that started when Dahir's 2007 Freight semitrailer hit a wheel rim and tire on I-94 that may have fallen off another truck, said Illinois State Police Master Sgt. Steve LeGrand.
"At first, it looked like his wheel fell off, but we are learning he may have hit someone else's wheel that was in the roadway with his left front wheel, causing him to hit the wall," LeGrand said. "But it's all under investigation."
LeGrand said hitting the wheel caused the semi to lose control and slam into a 2007 Chevrolet, authorities said.
The semi then veered off the roadway to the left and struck the concrete median barrier, authorities said. It overturned on its side, and the force of the collision threw Dahir from the vehicle, officials said.
The truck hit a light pole when it struck the concrete median barrier and caused the light pole to fall onto eastbound traffic lanes, where it struck a 2016 Subaru.
The driver of the Chevrolet was taken to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville with injuries that were not life-threatening.
LeGrand said the accident caused heavy traffic delays, with an estimated two-mile backup in each direction. Travel times through the accident scene were high, officials said.
Four lanes on the highway were shut down for more than six hours while emergency crews cleared the accident. All traffic lanes reopened about 12:30 p.m.