HINSDALE, Ill. — Witnesses say at least one person is dead after icy conditions caused crashes across Illinois Sunday evening.
Temperatures hovering close to freezing, sleet and freezing rain made for slippery streets across Chicagoland throughout the day. Conditions varied throughout the area, with more black ice and slick roads south of the city than in the north.
In West Chicago, witnesses say at least one person was killed in a multi-car crash near 59th and Meade Rd. Police have not yet confirmed any deaths.
Even as most drove cautiously, the slick conditions sent many cars into ditches, backing traffic up for miles near I-55 and Black Rd. A semi truck crashed into a car during another multi-car crash on highway 55 in suburban Shorewood.
IDOT and the City of Chicago treated the roads before laying down salt Sunday to try and melt the ice, but officials are cautioning motorists to still be prepared for hazardous driving conditions, as most of Illinois remains under winter weather advisories.
Many of the National Weather Service’s advisories remain in effect until Monday. They warn of light snow and freezing rain. Illinois Department of Transportation crews have been pretreating areas susceptible to ice, like bridges and ramps.
Authorities are also blaming the cold in the death of an 80-year-old Chicago man whose body was found in an unheated home. The Cook County medical examiner’s office said Sunday that Donald Ohr died of hypothermia from cold exposure.
Officials say it also appears the continued cold led to a pipe break at a Department of Public Health laboratory in Chicago. Emergency crews were on site Sunday at the lab which performs testing for environmental hazards and diseases.