CHICAGO — A truck driver was seriously hurt in an accident on the Kennedy Expressway that left part of the tractor-trailer dangling over a busy Chicago street in the Avondale neighborhood Sunday.
After the truck crashed into a wall of interstate near Kimball Avenue shortly after 8 a.m., part of the cab of the truck somehow separated from the trailer and jumped the concrete barrier, falling more than 15 feet and crashing to the street.
Then it was a suspenseful scene as part of a tractor-trailer dangled over Kimball, bringing traffic to a standstill on both the street below and on the expressway, where the trailer blocked several lanes and snarled traffic for hours.
The driver of the tractor-trailer was pulled out of the cab by some quick thinking witnesses and rushed to Illinois Masonic Medical Center in serious-to-critical condition.
George Tofan and his son were driving on the kennedy expressway when they say they saw the accident.
“I never see something like this,” Tofan said. “I was worried about the guy that was in the truck.”
First responders issued a precautionary HazMat and spent several hours hosing down the pavement, washing away diesel fuel that spilled from the truck before tow trucks pulled leftover wreckage — and cranes lifted the mangled cab from the street.
The truck was part of the Taylor Truck Line out of Minnesota. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Taylor’s safety record over the last two years shows it has been involved in 29 crashes, with 2 fatalities and a dozen injuries.
the company declined to comment on today’s incident, citing the ongoing investigation.
The company’s web site states: “our concern is not only for the employees of Taylor Truck Line, but also the safety of the public that we come in contact with on a daily basis.”
The driver is being treated at Illinois Masonic Medical Center, but so far the company has not released any information about his identity or his record.
An investigation by the Illinois State Police is ongoing, but the cause has not been officially determined. A source told WGN the driver may have fallen asleep or may have been dozing off.