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I-55 Car Collision Causes Fire and Fatalities

Posted on in Car Accidents

Illinois personal injury lawyer, Illinois wrongful death attorney, Illinois car accident lawyer,Car accidents are commonplace in the Chicago area, with its many highways and congested traffic. Less common, however, are explosions that result from such accidents, although they do occur. This July, a multi-car accident caused a tanker truck to burst into flames, leaving several cars decimated and at least one person dead.

The crash occurred on the Stevenson Expressway just east of Cicero Avenue when two trucks collided around 10:50 a.m. on Monday, July 25. One truck was carrying 17,800 pounds of paint, a highly flammable and hazardous material, the other carrying frozen meat. Police believe the truck carrying meat hit a car stopped in front of it, which caused that car to hit the car in front of it, sending that car under the trailer of the truck carrying paint. The paint truck then struck another vehicle in front of it, and both semi-trucks and the other vehicles burst into flames after the flammable paint caught fire and spread to the other vehicles.

Reports indicated that thick, black smoke could be seen for miles. All of the vehicles were soon fully engulfed in flames, and the Chicago Fire Department labeled it a two-alarm fire requiring a Level 1 hazmat response. Fire officials were concerned about the flammable materials running into the road towards oncoming traffic, and consequently closed off major sections of I-55 for miles for hours after the accident. Initially, it appeared that two other vehicles were involved in the crash, but a fifth vehicle, along with a body, was later found in the wreckage.

What to Do If a Car Accident Causes a Fire

While not frequent, car fires are extremely dangerous. In 2013, 164,000 car fires occurred, killing 300 people, injuring 925 more, and causing $1.1 billion in property damage. Knowing how to protect yourself as much as possible in the event of a car fire is crucial. The National Fire Protection Association recommends the following safety tips to reduce your risk of being involved in a car fire, and how to proceed if you find yourself in one.

  • If your car is on fire, pull over into the shoulder or a rest stop as quickly as possible as long as it is safe to do so;
  • Turn off the engine immediately;
  • Leave the vehicle immediately and get everyone else out of the car. NEVER return to a burning vehicle for anything;
  • Move at least 100 feet away from the burning car and away from traffic; and
  • Call 9-1-1 as soon as you are a safe distance from the vehicle and wait for assistance from police and fire officials.

If You Are Involved in an Accident

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, consult an experienced personal injury attorney immediately to help you understand your rights. The experienced Lake County car accident attorneys at Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. can provide the representation you need and we will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Call us at 847-662-3303 to schedule your free case consultation today.

Sources:

http://abc7chicago.com/news/5th-car-found-in-i-55-wreckage;-at-least-1-dead/1441897/

http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/Accident-Shuts-Down-I-55-in-Both-Directions-in-Chicago-388149802.html

http://www.nfpa.org/news-and-research/fire-statistics-and-reports/fire-statistics/vehicle-fires/highway-vehicle-fires

http://www.nfpa.org/~/media/files/safety-information/safety-tip-sheets/car_fire_safety.pdf?la=en
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