Seventeen people have been killed in crashes caused by debris on Illinois roadways, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation’s most recent data.
From 2012 to 2016, more than 9,000 accidents have resulted in more than 1,500 people injured.
IDOT maintenance crews are deployed daily to cruise public roadways to pick up debris.
“We’ve found kitchen sinks, furniture, dressers, mattresses,” said Gregg Leschman, who works from the Stevenson Maintenance Yard. “It’s terribly dangerous to the motorist. A lot of this is picked up on the shoulder, but that’s not where it lands on the highway. It gets to the shoulder because people keep running it over.”
IDOT urges all drivers to properly secure the loads to account for the high travel speeds on expressways.
“It could become fatal from something very small, so we take our jobs very seriously,” said highway maintainer Kevin Lorick.