While we often write about the City of Chicago itself as being a major hub for the trucking industry, we need to remember that Chicagoland, including the surrounding suburbs, consists of a large area around the city. This means that while many trucks are making stops in the city itself, they are frequently traveling on roads and highways outside of the City, including downstate and the suburbs.
Reported in an article by the Chicago Tribune, a trucking accident in the Bolingbrook-Plainfield suburban area on I-55 killed a middle-aged man. The victim’s vehicle was disabled at the time and had stalled in the right northbound lane, according to both the state police and the Plainfield Fire Protection District Deputy. A Melrose Park man was driving the semi-truck and hit the victim’s vehicle while trying to get off the road. The impact of the collision sent the disabled vehicle from the right hand lane into the median wall. The semi-truck was originally on top of the vehicle, but the semi driver was able to reverse the truck off of it before fire crews arrived to the scene. The victim was trapped in the car and required heavy extrication by emergency responders. Additionally, the collision caused the semi-truck to jackknife, blocking all lanes of northbound I-55.
Another article reporting on the same accident, also by the Chicago Tribune, states that the accident occurred near Lockport Road. The driver of the disable vehicle was pronounced dead on the scene in the early evening. The driver of the semi-truck was rushed to a local hospital.
While it is not clear from these reports whether negligence or recklessness was a factor in this semi accident, what is clear from this article is the severity of truck accidents and our need to be alert on the roads and practice safety, not only on the busy Chicago roads, but everywhere. Interstates have a high volume of traffic traveling at very high speeds. With such congestion, we need to be on even higher alert than on normal streets because of so many more people around us. Emergency situations can happen at the worst of times too, causing cars to become stalled or needing to pull over.
In these emergency situations, especially on interstates, it can be hard to remain safe. If a driver finds him/herself in an emergency situation that requires them to leave the road, such as stalling, a dying battery, etc., it may be best for the driver and passengers to exit the vehicle. If you cannot make it to a roadside stop, such as a gas station or highway oasis stop, you may want to pull off of the road, leave the vehicle, and make an emergency call. Also, drivers need to be aware that this situation is not uncommon, and for that reason, need to be on the lookout for cars in these situations to avoid accidents and escalating the emergency.