Less than 3 weeks after a fatal limo accident killed one person and severely injured several others, another crash on the same stretch of the Illinois Tollway claimed a man’s life overnight.
At about 12:53 a.m. Thursday, police say a van plowed into a tow truck in the westbound lanes of I-90 at mile marker 63.5, between Barrington and Roselle Roads in northwest suburban Hoffman Estates.
This area is an ongoing construction zone as the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway widening project continues.
The 79-year-old Elgin man driving the van was killed, according to the Illinois State Police. The tow truck driver, a 44-year-old man who was standing near his truck when he was struck, was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.
Since February 1, the Illinois Tollway has reported more than 50 crashes between Route 53 and Elgin. Drivers say temporary on-ramps aren't big enough, and lane configurations are often changing.
“The spot when you get on or off the highway needs to be a lot longer. It's too short. You're having people cut each other off. It's causing issues,” said driver Rocco Paisano.
“They're constantly changing it with the walls that they put up, so something that's there one day that you're used to, suddenly, is just changed the next day,” added Tollway driver Jennifer Louis.
“Just the fact that you're going from lane to lane, moving in areas that you weren't normally used to driving, I think that's where the problem occurs,” said Arlington Heights Deputy Fire Chief Pete Ahlman. “One of the biggest things is, people need to learn to slow down,” he said, adding that a glare from the sun in the morning while driving eastbound can also be dangerous.
“Unfortunately, the recent fatal crashes on I-90 underscore the importance for drivers to slow down and focus on driving, not only in work zones, but when traveling at any time on area interstate roadways,” the Illinois Tollway said in a statement. “Within the next few weeks, we plan to add new speed radar feedback signs that show drivers how fast they are traveling and increase the number of message boards communicating with customers.”