ELMHURST, Ill. (WLS) --An SUV traveling the wrong way on northbound Route 83 was severely damaged after it collided with a U.S. Post Office truck just north of I-290 early Wednesday.
Route 83 was shut down in both directions in unincorporated Elmhurst for about 12 hours as DuPage County sheriff's investigators reconstructed the crash and cleaned up nearly 100 gallons of diesel fuel that spilled onto the road.
Traffic on that section of Kingery Highway was backed up all the way to North Avenue during the morning commute.
The sheriff's office said the mail truck collided head-on with the SUV after the silver vehicle crossed into the northbound lanes from the southbound lanes around 1:30 a.m.
Fire officials said the driver of the SUV, a man in his 30s', was trapped in his vehicle for about 40 minutes before crews were able to cut him out. He was airlifted to Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, where he is listed in critical condition.
The driver of the semi was transported to Elmhurst Hospital in good condition. No one else was hurt in the crash.
Motorists said seeing the damage reminded them to pay attention while driving.
"It's scary. I mean, it was scary seeing it as I was coming southbound on Route 83. Just terrible," said George Johncours, a commuter.
"Not only do you have to drive your own vehicle, you have to make sure everybody else is doing their part. You have to watch what everybody else is doing," said David Johanson, another commuter.