BUCKTOWN — A pileup of nearly 60 cars and trucks shut down the Kennedy Expressway Wednesday morning amid a mid-April snowstorm, sending 14 people to local hospitals already battling the coronavirus outbreak.
Fire Department photos show a tangle of vehicles on the Kennedy at North Avenue in the Bucktown neighborhood. Fire officials said there was poor traction on the road amid the storm.
Crews began to get some lanes open Wednesday morning. By 8:45 a.m., officials said one inbound local lane was open, as were the inbound express lanes.
With the stay at home order in place and fewer people driving to work, the expressway had seen far less traffic. But an Illinois Department of Transportation spokesperson said that’s caused drivers to speed.
On Wednesday, the chain reaction crashes began in the inbound lanes shortly after 5 a.m. on the icy expressway.
By the end, nearly 60 cars and trucks were involved, blocking all lanes and launching a massive response from emergency crews. The Fire Department’s Mass Casualty unit was sent to the scene, including 12 ambulances.
Forty-five people refused medical attention, but 14 had to be taken to local hospitals, officials said.