CHICAGO (WLS) --Consider yourself lucky if you weren't caught for hours in the 11-mile backup on the Dan Ryan Expressway during the Tuesday evening rush.
A lot of drivers ended up crawling on side streets to get around the gridlock. They were the lucky ones, because the crash left many other commuters stuck on the Ryan for two hours or more.
It was caused by a crash involving two trucks and a bus. The crash left the Dan Ryan littered with twisted metal and piles of paper.
"Stressful. Chaotic. I really had to put on my gospel music to calm me down, so I didn't have road rage," said Donald Mayes, driver.
The headaches began around 3:15 p.m. in the outbound lanes of the Dan Ryan at 95th when a truck spilled its load of trash.
Chicago Fire Department spokesperson Larry Langford said one semi lost a load of trash as it passed under a pedestrian overpass Tuesday afternoon. A second semi swerved to avoid the trash, striking a bus in the lane next to it.
The bus was carrying around three dozen special needs adults from Pilsen to Robbins, Langford said. A total of 37 people were taken to hospitals, primarily as a precaution.
The driver of the semi was pinned in his cab for a time, but was also uninjured, Langford said. He refused medical treatment at the scene.
"The good news is no serious injuries, but the expressway is going to be shut down for some time," said Langford.
The bus and semis were removed from the scene as crews cleaned up the trash that spilled all over the expressway.
"That's all it was is paper, so nothing that's hazardous, literally newspapers and magazines," said Langford.
After sweeping away all the trash, all lanes were open again by 6:30 p.m., ending the traffic nightmare.
State Police say the driver of the garbage truck that spilled all those papers was given three citations, including failure to secure his load.