Chicago Traffic

‘Gridlock': Major crashes, fatal shootings on I-55, Stony Island close roads, snarl traffic

The crashes include a head-on collision in Indiana, and two separate crashes and shooting investigations on busy Chicago highways

Fourth of July holiday travelers in the Chicago area can expect to run into traffic Wednesday morning, with several crashes and backups already reported across the city.

As of 5 a.m. Wednesday, at least three crashes were were already causing major delays, including on on I-55 that was causing "gridlock," NBC 5 Traffic Reporter Kye Martin said.

"Attention Stevenson commuters," Martin said. "Your expressway is blocked at the Dan Ryan on one of the busiest travel days of the year."

One of the crashes that was causing delays and backups was in Hammond, Indiana, where Indiana State Police and Hammond authorities responded at 1:25 a.m. to a head-on collision on Southbound Indianapolis Boulevard. According to Martin, Indianapolis Boulevard was blocked from 5th Avenue to Calumet Avenue. Roads reopened in the 6 a.m. hour.

In Chicago, two major crash investigations were taking place following incidents that took place overnight.

Around 2 a.m., Illinois State Police responded to a single-vehicle crash with a shooting victim on the I-55 (Stevenson Expressway) northbound ramp between the Dan Ryan Expressway (I-90/94) and Cermak Road.

According to ISP, one person was pronounced dead on the scene.

All lanes of the ramp and I-55 northbound were closed for hours as part of the investigation. According to ISP, roads reopened around 9 a.m., but morning commute backups on the Stevenson were significant.

"If you are trying to get on the inbound Stevenson, you are in gridlock," Martin said early Wednesday as traffic backed up nearly to Midway Airport

Around 2:20 a.m., a separate crash and shooting investigation was underway near Stony Island and 95th Street, where officers responded to a two-vehicle crash with two shooting victims, ISP said.

According to ISP, a tow truck driver had stopped to assist an incident when a confrontation and shooting ensued.

One victim was pronounced dead on the scene, ISP said. Another was transported to a nearby hospital for gunshot injuries.

According to ISP, all lanes of Southbound Stony Island were shut down from 95th Street to the Bishop Ford. Lanes reopened around 8:45 a.m., ISP confirmed.

The traffic and backups come on one of the busiest travel days for drivers, with approximately 9.3 million drivers in Illinois expected to hit the roads for the Fourth of July holiday through Monday, the Illinois Tollway said.

According to the Tollway, the busiest travel day on Chicago roads will be Wednesday, when 1.9 million drivers are expected to use I-294.

Across the country, AAA predicts more than 60 million people will travel by car over the Fourth of July holiday, beginning Wednesday.

Thursday was also expected to be a busy travel day at both Chicago airports, the Chicago Department of Aviation said, with 1.7 million passengers expected to pass through O'Hare and Midway International Airports Thursday through Monday.

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