A Mix of Speed and Weather Caused Kennedy Expressway 50-Car Pile-up

car pileup on kennedy expressway

An early-spring weather mix of snow and ice along with high-speed, distracted drivers caused an early morning 50-car pile-up that shut down the Kennedy Expressway for five hours on Wednesday, April 15. Illinois State Police reports said the crash sent 14 people to the hospital and left another 45 on-scene for medical evaluations. A dozen ambulances responded to the scene.

“Overnight conditions deteriorated. We got some snow. Some icy conditions on the expressway. Vehicles driving at high rates of speed caused the accident,” said Deputy District Fire Chief John Giordano. “It caused an effect where vehicles couldn’t stop behind them because of the high speeds they were traveling, and thus the amount of vehicles we have at this time.”

When road conditions become hazardous, drivers who operate too fast for conditions and while distracted are especially dangerous to everyone they share the road with. The wreck has since been noted as one of the most significant pile-ups experienced on inbound Kennedy at North and involved 46 vehicles, including three tractor-trailers and semi-trucks.

To increase your reaction time to a hazardous road situation, stay off your electronic devices, and operate your motor vehicle at the correct posted speed limit to provide safer control over your car or truck.

Neck and Back Injuries Are Common in Pile-Up Accidents

Also called a neck sprain or neck strain, a whiplash injury is extremely common if involved in a pile-up motor vehicle crash such as the Kennedy Expressway mess. The sudden force in which a person’s body is sent backward or forward and then thrust into the opposite direction during a crash like this can create unnatural spine movements and causes damage, friction, and tension throughout the body. Varying levels of pain in the upper neck, shoulders, and back is common and can present days if not weeks after a crash. Symptoms may vary for each injured individual, but generally include one or more of the following:

  • burning, tingling or numbness in the arms and legs
  • headaches and dizziness (possible concussion)
  • neck and upper back pain and stiffness
  • back spasms
  • shoulder and/or upper back pain
  • shooting or dull pain with a simple movement

Intervertebral joints, discs, and ligaments, cervical muscles, and nerve roots may be injured as well. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke estimates nearly 3 million cases of whiplash reported each year.

Chicago Car Accident Lawyers

If you have suffered a serious or life-altering injury that required hospitalization and/or extensive rehabilitation, or if you lost a loved one as a result of another driver’s mistakes, the Chicago car accident attorneys of Levin and Perconti can help you. Call us at 312-332-2872 or toll-free at 877-374-1417 for a free consultation with a Chicago personal injury lawyer.

Also read: One in Two Drivers Admit to Texting While Driving




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