ELGIN, Ill. (WLS) --A 53-year-old woman from Wisconsin was identified as the person who was killed in a rollover crash involving a limo on eastbound I-90 in west suburban Elgin last week.
Illinois State Police identified the victim as Teri L. Schmidt, of Monona, Wis.
She and five other people, ages 45-64, were riding in a limo Friday morning, on their way to O'Hare International Airport. They were heading to Mexico for vacation.
State police said the 20-year-old driver of the white Lincoln Town Car was blinded by the sun on eastbound I-90 near Route 25 around 7:10 a.m. The driver struck a concrete divider, which caused the limo to flip over. It landed on its roof.
"That stretch of I-90 is going directly eastbound. At that point in the morning the sun is just coming up on the horizon so it's just about the right height," said Dave Schmidt, assistant chief of the Elgin Fire Department.
Off-duty Streamwood firefighter and paramedic Chris Tierney was four cars behind the limo when he witnessed the wreck. He used a hammer in his truck to break the windows of the limo to help get the injured out, actions he say were just instinct. Tierney said flames were shooting from the hood of the overturned limo.
"I saw the hood of the car come off, I saw the car go airborne, and I saw a big plume of debris," Tierney said.
He said construction workers helped him with the crash victims as they waited for emergency crews to arrive.
"My training kicked in, my instinct kicked in. I exited my vehicle and everything that I was taught came to mind," he said.
Schmidt was fatally injured. Tierney tried to save her.
"We were able to get her out of the car and to the back of the limousine where we had to administer CPR," he said.
The injured were rushed to Sherman and St. Alexius hospitals for treatment.
The driver was interviewed by state police. No citations or charges have been filed. Investigators are looking into whether speed or road conditions may have also been a factor in the crash.