Vehicles were seen on the side of the road, off of freeways, and even tractor trailers were involved in accidents.
Two people were killed in accidents on Wednesday. Chicago put a Winter Weather Advisory in effect on Wednesday morning due to black ice covering roadways and sidewalks during early morning commutes. The Department of Transportation reported 135 accidents as work crews tried to help alleviate the slick surfaces by salting the roadways.
A 14-vehicle accident near Interstate 57 and 158th Street caused a major delay, as several cars slid and collided with one another. State police quickly responded to the scene, warning drivers that they should drive at slower speeds and to be prepared for other vehicles losing control. Police urged residents to stay home unless absolutely necessary to go out.
Black ice was blamed for the multi-vehicle accident.
"This ice, known as black ice when it clings to the roads and pavement, is one of the most dangerous hazards motorists faced during the storm. It receives the name not from its color, but from its tendency to look exactly like the roads beneath," states the Law Office of Henry Queener.
An early morning accident, at 6 a.m., was reported on the southbound lane of Interstate 294. The accident caused all lanes near Ogden Avenue to be blocked. The northbound portion of the Interstate also had its fair share of accidents, with lanes near Hinsdale Oasis shut down due to numerous accidents.
Interstate 80's eastbound lanes, near Harlem Avenue, was the site of several vehicles that lost control and went into ditches. Authorities reported over 20 accidents in the area. The westbound portion of the Interstate was closed as accidents continued to pile up. The preemptive closure allowed salt trucks to enter the roadway and cover the portion of the Interstate with salt.
One person was killed at 175th and LaGrange Road were a vehicle collided with a semi-truck. LaGrange Road was immediately closed between 175th and 179th street. Details of the accident have yet to be released.
Multiple lanes in Will County were closed, as dozens of accidents were reported.
State Police had to close several lanes on I-55, which was down to one lane in each direction at one point and slowing traffic to a crawl. The lanes were closed following a slew of accidents, according to District 5 police. Police claim that several people were injured in the incidents, but note that no fatalities occurred.
Police alerted drivers that four-wheel drive and even driving a semi-truck will not help drivers in the conditions on Wednesday. Bridges and ramps were especially slick. AAA recommends that drivers do not hit their brakes when their vehicles start to slide on black ice. Automobiles cannot gain traction on ice with braking, which can cause the vehicle to slide further.
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