The man killed in a four-vehicle crash Saturday morning in the northwest suburbs was identified as a longtime teacher at a Chicago Public School on the Northwest Side, according to the school's principal.
Jeffery Komada, 54, of Des Plaines, was the Director of Technology at William Howard Taft High School for close to 30 years, according to a statement from Principal Mark Garbisher.
"He was an esteemed colleague and he was a friend to everyone in the building. Last year he was one one of our teachers who was Educator of the Year," said Garbisher. "He was one of the kindest people I have ever met. He will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family."
Grishaber said Komada was responsible for all technology at Taft, all laptops, computer labs, databases, as well as in charge of all PARCC testing.
The accident occurred on southbound I-294 in Des Plaines at 10:08 a.m., according to a release from the Illinois State Police.
Officials said a Ford Windstar minivan stalled in traffic at mile post 41-1/2 between Touhy and Devon Avenues, which caused Komada's car, a Honda CR-V, to rear-end the van. A Volkwagen Tiguan then rear-ended the Honda, according to the release.
The 38-year-old woman driving the Volkswagen and a 4-year-old girl who was her passenger “relocated to the back seat of the Honda” after the crash, police said. Komada was helping the woman and child get into his vehicle to move to the shoulder, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Komada was standing outside his car when a Peterbuilt semi-truck approached and struck him, the Volkwagen, and the Honda, according to the statement. He was taken to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, where he was pronounced dead, according to police.
It was not immediately clear if there were any other injuries, or if any citations have been issued in connection with the crash.