Authorities are asking the public for assistance in identifying the person killed in a fiery crash on Interstate 55 that shut down the roadway in both directions in Chicago Monday.
The crash involving two semis took place just before 11 a.m. in the outbound lanes of the interstate near Cicero. At least one of the semis was hauling 17,800 pounds of paint and caught fire, authorities said. The other semi had 40,000 pounds of frozen meat.
Authorities initially said as many as two other cars were also involved in the crash, but a third vehicle was discovered in the wreckage with the deceased person still inside, Illinois State Police said.
Police believe, based on the preliminary investigation, that the semi carrying the frozen meat hit a car stopped in front of it. That car then struck a green mini-van, which went under the trailer of the semi hauling paint.
The semi carrying paint then struck another vehicle in front of it, and both semis, as well as the first two cars immediately burst into flames, police said.
Smoke could be seen for miles in the area, and police said that both the green mini-van and the body found inside are unidentifiable due to the crash and fire. According to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office, officials were unable to discern whether the victim was male or female, and police said they could not determine the make or model of the van, believed to be green.
Anyone who believes they may know the victim or has any information is asked to contact the Cook County Medical Examiner's office at 312-666-0200 or the Illinois State Police at 847-294-4400.
At least one other person was transported from the scene to an area hospital in stable condition, but it was not known which vehicle they were in.
The roadway remained closed for hours, with the far right and center inbound lanes reopening just after 2 p.m. All inbound lanes reopened shortly after 4 p.m., while the outbound lanes remained closed with traffic being diverted at Pulaski.
At 7 p.m., authorities said the outbound lanes will be closed for at least three more hours for investigation and cleanup.
Check back for details on this developing story.