Posted On: October 24, 2006 by Christopher T. Hurley

Chain reaction collision on Illinois tollway; Trucking's dangers highlighted

At 1:40 a.m. on October 24, 2006, as traffic slowed to a crawl in a construction zone on Interstate 90 west of Chicago, a semi-trailer truck collided with the rear of another semi, causing a chain reaction accident involving a total of three trucks. The trucker in the first truck, which allegedly started the chain reaction, was killed.

As reported in the Chicago Tribune, the collision occurred in the southbound lanes of the tollway when two trucks in a row were slowing down while trying to merge into one lane because of a lane closure at U.S. Highway 20. The semi driven by the trucker who was killed was traveling behind both of them but failed to slow down, according to an Illinois State Trooper. That semi plowed into the rear of the semi ahead of it, causing the middle truck to slam into the vehicle in front. The accident occurred on the Northwest Tollway in Hampshire, Illinois, closing the tollway for over one hour.

The two other truck drivers suffered injuries from the collision.

Trucking is a dangerous business. As of 2003, the commercial motor vehicle fatality rate was 2.3 fatalities per 100 million miles travelled. That may sound low, but that rate is 40% higher than the Department of Transportation's goal of only 1.6 fatalities per 100 million miles travelled.

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