Accidents involving a driver traveling in the wrong direction continue to happen on Chicago-area expressways as well as those throughout Illinois. These incidents are notable in many respects. A driver traveling in the wrong direction often poses a great threat to both themselves as well as other motorists. Should this “wrong-way driver” collide with oncoming traffic – which is common – the accident injuries to all vehicle occupants are often serious in nature, and can be life-threatening. One of the reasons that such injuries caused by the “wrong-way driver” are often serious is that the “head-on collision” that frequently occurs are inherently highly physically traumatic to those involved.
While a driver traveling in the wrong direction can happen for various reasons, most “wrong-way drivers” are impaired either by alcohol and/or impaired by drug use. Often, such impairment is substantial. While such crashes can occur at any time, as seen in the “wrong-way driver” crashes that are summarized on this site most occur late in the evening or early in the morning.
There was an accident involving a vehicle whose driver was driving in the wrong direction on I-57 early Saturday (August 25, 2018) morning near 147th Street.
According to information provided by the Illinois State Police, the vehicle traveling in the wrong direction was in the southbound lanes of I-57 at approximately 4:15 a.m. when it crashed “head-on” into a semi truck.
The “wrong-way driver” as well as the truck driver were both injured and taken to the hospitals for treatment of their accident injuries. Their injuries were considered to be non-life-threatening in nature.
Additional details regarding this “wrong-way driver” crash can be seen in a variety of media sources, including the August 25, 2018 NBC Chicago article (with video) titled “2 Injured In Wrong-Way Crash On I-57” as well as the August 25 Chicago Sun-Times article titled “2 injured in wrong-way head-on crash on I-57.”
“Wrong-Way Driver” incidents continue to happen on Chicago-area expressways, as well as throughout Illinois. As seen in the “Wrong-Way Driver Accidents” posts on this site, in which many such accidents involving “wrong-way drivers” are summarized, when a driver is traveling in the wrong direction accidents often occur. Often, such crashes are “head-on collisions” which happen at highway speeds. “Head-on collisions” of this nature often cause serious, if not life-threatening, accident injuries to vehicle occupants. Most “wrong-way driver” crashes involve drunk drivers or drivers who are impaired because of drug use.
In the last couple of days there have been two accidents involving “wrong-way drivers.” The first happened on Lake Shore Drive during Thursday (June 7, 2018) morning’s rush hour. In this crash, both the “wrong-way” driver as well as another car’s driver were injured and taken to the hospital. An excerpt regarding this crash, which involved a driver that had been previously involved in another crash, from the June 7, 2018 Chicago Tribune article titled “Motorist drives the wrong way on Lake Shore Drive during morning rush hour…“:
About 10 minutes later, the driver who fled the first crash was seen driving south in the northbound lanes in the 5200 block of North Lake Shore Drive, police said. The fleeing driver then crashed into a black Mercedes, police said.
The second “wrong-way driver” crash happened on the Dan Ryan Expressway early Friday (June 8, 2018) morning. An excerpt regarding this crash from the June 8, 2018 Chicago Sun-Times article titled “Dan Ryan wrong-way crash caused by DUI driver, state police say“:
A Chicago woman is likely facing driving drunk charges after causing a head-on collision early Friday on the Dan Ryan when she drove the wrong way on the expressway, authorities said.
The 19-year-old was driving a 2007 Toyota sedan north in the southbound lanes when she struck a 2005 Cadillac SUV in the left lanes of Interstate 94 about 2:55 a.m. near 63rd Street, according to Illinois State Police.
In this crash, both the driver of the Toyota as well as a passenger, as well as the driver of the Cadillac SUV, were injured and taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center for treatment of their accident injuries.
Additional details concerning these “wrong-way drivers” can be seen in the sources mentioned above.
“Wrong-Way Drivers” often occur after drivers are impaired by alcohol, and in some cases are impaired by drug use.
As seen in many “wrong-way driver” accidents – some of which are summarized on this site in posts found under the “Wrong-Way Driver Accidents” category – crashes that happen after drivers drive in the wrong direction often result in serious injuries and in some cases fatalities.
One of the reasons that “wrong-way driver” crashes often result in serious injuries is that the resulting collisions are often “head-on collisions.” As discussed on the “‘Head-On Collisions’ In Cook County” page, there are many reasons why these types of crashes often result in vehicle occupants being seriously injured. While there are many reasons as to why such frontal collisions can occur, it is common for such crashes to involve a drunk driver.
The April 23, 2018 Chicago Sun-Times article titled “Hazel Crest man killed in wrong-way crash on I-57 in Matteson” discusses an April 22, 2018 fatal accident in Matteson which involved a pickup truck driving in the wrong direction on I-57.
An excerpt from the article:
A 22-year-old man from Colorado Springs, Colorado, was driving a blue 2004 Ford pickup south in the northbound lanes of I-57 at 3:31 a.m. when it crashed head-on with a northbound brown Nissan Altima near Vollmer Road in Matteson, according to a statement from Illinois State Police. Both vehicles rolled over as a result of the crash.
The driver of the Nissan, identified as Lorenzo M. Franklin, 27, of Hazel Crest, died at the accident scene.
The driver of the pickup truck had minor accident injuries.
Alcohol was considered a contributing factor in the crash. Charges are reportedly pending.
Additional details regarding drivers who drive in the wrong direction and the types of crashes that often follow such negligent driving can be seen in the sources mentioned above.
There was a crash late Tuesday night (November 28, 2017) which involved one car driving in the wrong direction, i.e. a “wrong-way driver.” The driver of the car that was driving in the wrong lane was later charged with DUI-drugs.
According to Chicago Police, the accident occurred as a 2017 Toyota Camry was driving south in the northbound lanes, in the 1500 block of South Lake Shore Drive.
The collision between the Camry and a van occurred at approximately 11:10 p.m.
Three occupants in the van, including a 17-year-old girl, as well as the driver of the Camry, a 30-year-old man, were injured and hospitalized because of the collision.
An excerpt regarding the charges faced by the driver of the Camry, later identified as Julio Tapia, as seen in the November 1, 2017 Chicago Sun-Times article titled “Man charged with DUI in wrong-way Lake Shore Drive crash on South Side“:
The driver of the Camry, Julio Tapia, was charged with one felony count of possession of a controlled substance and one misdemeanor count of DUI of any amount of drug, police said. He was also issued traffic citations for driving the wrong way, not having insurance and failure to yield.
Additional details and possible updates concerning this Chicago “wrong-way driver” accident can be seen in a variety of media sources, including the article mentioned above as well as the November 29 Chicago Tribune article titled “Wrong way driver injures three on Lake Shore Drive.”
“Wrong-way drivers” continue to be a Chicago-area traffic safety hazard, primarily on expressways and toll roads. As seen in the many accidents involving “wrong-way drivers” (many of which are summarized on this site in the “wrong-way driver accidents” category) many of these accidents result in one or more fatalities. Most of the drivers who are driving in the wrong direction are doing so while intoxicated on alcohol and/or drugs.
There have been many efforts made to reduce the number of these “wrong-way drivers.” Some of the efforts have included increased police enforcement, as well as placing large red signs on expressway ramps alerting drivers if they are driving in the wrong direction. Various technologies are also being investigated.
There is proposed legislation that would increase penalties faced by “wrong-way drivers,” as many believe that such drivers are not being sufficiently penalized for their actions. As well, increased penalties could serve as an (increased) deterrent to those who may be inclined to drive in the wrong direction.
This proposed legislation is discussed in the March 2, 2017 NBC Chicago investigative segment (article and video) titled “New Legislation Would Toughen Penalties For Impaired Wrong-Way Drivers.” Two excerpts from the article:
The sight of a vehicle speeding directly toward you on the highway can lead to a split-second decision that may result in life or death. In fact, an NBC 5 Investigates analysis of state records in 2015 revealed more than 50 people have been killed and nearly 300 have been injured by wrong-way drivers in Illinois since 2005.
“It would effectively make driving the wrong way down a one way street an aggravating factor in a DUI case,” said State Rep. Mke Zalewski of Riverside.
Zalewski is sponsoring House Bill 303, which has been approved by the state house. Currently, a judge cannot take wrong-way driving into consideration during sentencing. However, the proposed law would allow judges to add additional prison time for individuals convicted of aggravated DUI, where wrong-way driving was involved.
The article also points out that additional fatalities and injuries due to “wrong-way” drive have occurred in 2016.
Additional details regarding this bill can be seen in a variety of media sources, including the NBC Chicago segment mentioned above.
Accidents which occur while drivers are driving in the wrong direction continue to cause serious – and in many cases – fatal injuries. In most instances these “wrong-way driver” crashes happen when the driver is intoxicated. On this site, such crashes are summarized in the “Wrong-Way Driver Accidents” category.
There was a fatal accident early Monday morning (January 2, 2016) in Chicago’s Loop. The accident involved a driver heading in the wrong direction in the 100 block of South Wells.
Details on the accident are somewhat limited. According to Chicago Police, the accident happened at 12:05 a.m., as a 15-year-old girl (identified as Hailee Melendez, of Chicago) was driving a Nissan Pathfinder. The accident happened as the Pathfinder struck a steel beam that supports a CTA platform.
The crash was a “pin-in” crash. The girl was pronounced dead at the accident scene.
This fatal Chicago accident remains under investigation by the Chicago Police Department’s Major Accidents Investigation Unit.
Additional details and possible updates concerning this fatal Chicago crash can be seen in a variety of media sources, including the January 2, 2017 Chicago Sun-Times article (with crash scene photo) titled “Police: 15-year-old girl killed in Loop crash” as well as the January 2 abc7chicago.com article (with crash scene photo) titled “Police: Girl, 15, killed in wrong-way Loop crash.”
There was a fatal “wrong-way driver” crash Saturday evening (December 3, 2016) on the Chicago Skyway.
According to information provided by Chicago Police, the accident happened at approximately 9:40 p.m., as a Jeep Patriot was driving east in the westbound lanes (i..e. driving in the wrong direction) on the Chicago Skyway. At that time, the Jeep Patriot ran into a Dodge Caravan in a “head on” collision. The collision occurred near 92nd Street.
The driver of the Caravan, identified as a 50-year-old man, was declared dead at the accident scene.
The driver of the Jeep Patriot, identified as a 70-year-old man, was taken to Advocated Christ Medical Center for treatment of his accident injuries.
At this time there does not appear to be a publicly disclosed reason for the “wrong-way driving.”
The crash remains under investigation.
Additional details regarding this fatal Chicago collision can be seen in a variety of media sources, including the “Man killed in wrong-way Chicago Skyway crash” as well as the December 4 abc7chicago.com article titled “Police: 1 killed, 1 injured in wrong-way crash on Skyway.”
There was a “wrong-way driver” accident early Friday morning (December 2, 2016) on Interstate 88 (I-88) in Naperville. The accident, which involved a “head-on collision” between two cars, led to the deaths of three people.
According to the Illinois State Police (ISP) the accident happened at approximately 12:55 a.m., in the westbound lanes of I-88 (Reagan Tollway) near Mill Street. At that time, near mile marker 125.75, the driver of a 2012 Toyota Camry was driving in the wrong direction (i.e. driving eastbound) in the westbound lanes, and crashed “head-on” into a 2007 Chrysler 300.
The driver of the Camry, identified as Domenic Andreoni, 30, of Elgin, was declared dead at the accident scene.
The driver and the passenger of the Chrysler 300, identified as Ali Erhaima, 32, of Aurora, and Shiva Inampudi, 40, of Naperville, respectively, were also declared dead at the accident scene.
It has not yet been determined what caused Andreoni to be driving in the wrong direction. The accident remains under investigation.
Additional details and possible updates can be seen in a variety of media sources, including the December 2, 2016 Naperville Sun article (with video) titled “3 killed in I-88 crash in Naperville” as well as the December 2 Chicago Sun-Times article “Police: 3 killed in I-88 crash in Warrenville.”
There was a fatal crash early Tuesday morning (July 19, 2016) on Route 53 in Rolling Meadows. The crash involved a “wrong-way” driver.
According to the Illinois State Police (ISP) a preliminary investigation indicates that the crash happened at approximately 4:10 a.m. on Route 53 near Euclid Avenue. At that time, a driver of a 2014 Toyota, who was driving southbound in the northbound lanes, struck a 2010 Chevrolet in a “head-on” collision. The Toyota then continued driving in the wrong direction and crashed “head-on” with a 2006 Toyota van that was a taxi.
The driver of the Toyota, identified as Zachary Sipe, 21, of Mount Prospect, as well as the driver of the taxi, Peter Wierzbicki, 64, of Lisle, were both killed in the collisions.
The driver of the Chevrolet was identified as Jarrod Oden, 43, of Palatine. Initial media reports did not indicate if he was hurt during the collision.
Additional details and possible updates regarding this fatal “wrong-way driver” crash can be seen in a number of media sources, including the July 19, 2016 Chicago Tribune article titled “Drivers from Lisle, Mount Prospect killed in crash on Illinois Route 53, police say” as well as the July 19 Daily Herald article titled “Mount Prospect driver, Lisle man died in wrong-way crash on Route 53” and the July 19 Palatine Patch article titled “2 Dead After Wrong-Way Crash on Route 53 in Rolling Meadows.”
There was a fatal “wrong-way” driver crash early Saturday morning on the Bishop Ford Freeway in Dolton, according to the Illinois State Police (ISP).
The accident happened as a SUV was driving north in the southbound lanes near 147th Street at approximately 2:30 a.m. At that time, the SUV collided “head-on” with a southbound car.
There were two people in the car at the time of the collision. The passenger, identified as Francisco Sotelo Juarez, 27, of Chicago Heights, was declared deceased after being taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. The driver of the car, identified as a 34-year-old man from Chicago Heights, was taken to a hospital for treatment of his accident injuries and he was reported to be in serious condition.
The driver of the SUV, identified as a 44-year-old man, was also hospitalized with minor injuries. There is no indication yet as to what if any charges he faces related to this fatal collision.
Additional details and possible updates concerning this head-on collision can be seen in a variety of media sources, including the March 19, 2016 Chicago Sun-Times article titled “1 dead in wrong-way crash on Bishop Ford Freeway” as well as the March 19 NBC Chicago article titled “1 Killed, 2 Injured in Wrong-Way Expressway Crash.”