Black Ice Causes More Than 100 Crashes on Chicago-Area Roadways

Black ice forms when the temperature is 32 degrees or colder outside. Temperatures Wednesday morning sat in the mid- to upper-20s

Freezing drizzle made for dangerous driving conditions, causing more than 100 crashes in numerous Chicago suburbs Wednesday morning. At least two people have been killed in the wrecks. 

The entire metro area was put under a Winter Weather Advisory Wednesday morning, with the National Weather Service warning of a glaze of ice on roadways, parking lots and sidewalks during the morning rush hour. 

Dozens of crashes, jack-knifed semis and spin-outs were reported as many hit the roads early Wednesday morning. 

According to Illinois State Police, 135 crashes were reported from midnight Wednesday morning to 1 p.m., and roads could remain slippery through the evening commute. 

"Roadways are still slippery and Illinois Department of Transportation is working diligently to keep up with salting the roadways," State Police said. "However, motorists must also do their part and drive safely if they choose to drive in these conditions." 

Major incidents were reported on southbound Interstate 294 in Western Springs, where an accident blocked all lanes near Ogden Avenue just before 6 a.m. On the northbound side, numerous accidents shut down lanes near the Hinsdale Oasis. 

On eastbound Interstate 80 near Tinley Park, about 20 cars were involved in various accidents near Harlem Avenue. Some vehicles were reported to be in ditches.

State police later shut down westbound I-80 just before the Harlem Avenue exit so salt trucks could cover the roadway. 

Tinley Park Police confirmed one person was killed in a crash at 175th and LaGrange Road when a car and semi collided. Further information on the crash wasn't immediately available but LaGrange Road was closed in both directions between 179th and 175th Streets. 

"Conditions at the time of the crash were icy," police said. 

A multi-car accident involving as many as 14 cars was seen in Markham near Interstate 57 and 158th Street. 

Dozens of accidents were reported across Will County, particularly near I-80 and I-55, where multiple lanes were blocked.  

Numerous crashes were also reported on the outbound Stevenson Expressway in Joliet and Countryside. 

Cell phone video shows several crashes in the Chicago area during an icy morning commute Wednesday. 

Illinois State Police warned that I-55 was at one point down to one lane each way after numerous crashes near Route 52. Several injuries were reported in the crashes but no fatalities, according to District 5 police. 

In DuPage County, nearly 20 crashes were reported in about 15 minutes everywhere from Bartlett to Wheaton to Lombard to Carol Stream. 

A man was killed in a crash on Interstate 294 in Burr Ridge, according to state police. The man was driving a Ford pickup when he lost control of his vehicle due to weather conditions, police said. He spun out of control onto the right shoulder of the roadway and hit the back of a semi. The 38-year-old man was taken to LaGrange Hospital and later pronounced dead, according to authorities. 

Indiana state police warned that road conditions were particularly slick on I-65 and urged drivers to be cautious. Numerous crashes were reported on the roadway, particularly in the area of 61st Avenue to US 30 in Lake County. 

"Freezing conditions have made the interstate, ramps and bridges slick and icy," police said in an alert to commuters. "Four wheel drive and driving a semi will not help you in these conditions!"

In Lake County, Indiana, a Whiting man was seriously injured when he was pinned between two cars in a crash, state police said. The 47-year-old man had been driving on an icy ramp from southbound Calumet Avenue to eastbound I-80/94 when he lost control, went off the road and hit a barrier wall. Moments later, another vehicle lost control and hit the man as he got out of his vehicle to check the damage, pinning him between the two cars. A third vehicle also lost control about the same time and hit the second vehicle. 

The 47-year-old driver was taken to North Lake Methodist Hospital in Gary with serious leg injuries, according to authorities. He was later transferred to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. 

Black ice forms when the temperature is 32 degrees or colder outside. Temperatures Wednesday morning sat in the mid- to upper-20s.

Since cars can't gain traction on ice, AAA says it's even more dangerous than snow. Officials recommend that drivers do not hit the brakes in the event their vehicle begins to slide on black ice.

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