A semi-truck driver remains in critical condition after his flower delivery truck rear-ended another semi early Wednesday on the Borman Expressway.
The crash left the driver trapped for more than three hours after the 2:48 a.m. crash in Northwest Indiana on the eastbound I-80/94 near Cline Avenue, police said.
Emergency crew members said the driver, whose identity remains unknown, wouldn't have had a chance to survive if it weren't for doctors and nurses from the University of Chicago Air Medical Network (UCAMN), who arrived to the scene within minutes.
"The truck was basically crushed on top of him," said flight nurse Mary Ray. "The steering column and the entire dashboard was into his chest and both of his legs were trapped."
Independent sources told NBC Chicago crews had to amputate one of the man's legs from the calf down in order to extricate him from the cab of the truck. Doctors wouldn't confirm it, citing privacy laws, but Emergency Dr. Yeop Reeo Kim, who treated the driver on the scene, confirmed the severity of the injuries.
"If he remained in the cab in the condition that he was in, his chances of survival would have dropped precipitously," Kim said.
The man was transferred to the level 1 trauma center at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn in critical condition.
"I hope he will be able to pull through," said Dr. Kim.
All lanes of the expressway were blocked for several hours following the crash and eastbound traffic was at a standstill from the state line. One westbound lane re-opened just after 6:30 a.m.