Indiana man killed in crash that shut down I-290 near Elmhurst
Authorities said Friday an Indiana man was killed in a seven-vehicle crash Thursday afternoon on inbound Interstate 290 near Elmhurst, which caused all the eastbound lanes of the Eisenhower Expressway to close until early Friday.
Christopher Follett, 37, of Munster, died in the crash, the Cook County medical examiner's office said.
The crash about 1:58 p.m. involved three semitrailers and four other vehicles, Illinois State Police said in a news release. Two drivers were taken to Elmhurst Hospital and another to Loyola University Medical Center, none with life-threatening injuries. All other drivers were treated at the scene, ABC 7 reported. It is not known which vehicle Follett was in.
Video by ABC 7 Chicago showed the crash centered around two semitrailers. The cab of one was destroyed by fire while its trailer remained largely intact. The semi in front of it was partially jackknifed. It appeared at least one vehicle was trapped and destroyed in between them, and another was trapped and damaged between the wreckage and the median wall on the left.
Cellphone video by a passing driver and obtained by ABC 7 shows the seconds after impact: black billowing smoke, crushed cars and people scrambling in chaos.
Another vehicle behind the wreckage appeared to have primarily front-end damage.
A woman who lives near the highway told ABC 7 Chicago that the collision was so loud she heard it inside her home.
"We were in the basement and it sounded like two explosions or someone dropped something on the floor upstairs, and that's what we thought it was. But then we heard all the helicopters so we came down here (alongside the highway)," Vanessa Underwood said. " ... Oh, it was horrible. You could tell two cars were completely burned up. One of them was smashed against the jersey wall."
Elmhurst firefighters were called to the scene about 2 p.m., and the Chicago Fire Department had six pieces of equipment at the crash, including a foam truck from O'Hare International Airport.
The cause of the crash is still unknown as police begin to reconstruct the scene and investigate, Lt. Don Orseno said. A National Transportation Safety Board team was expected to investigate the crash.