Wrong-way crash in Morris leaves 1 dead

March 3, 2013 4:29:12 AM PST
One man died in a wrong-way crash on Interstate 80 near Morris in Grundy County around midnight Friday night.

The victim was killed as he was on his way home from a job delivering medicine. And Saturday night his family had a message for the wrong way driver.

The crash on Interstate 80 left the vehicle unrecognizable.

Inside was 66-year-old Abed Bader, the patriarch of a family now in mourning.

"Everybody has been so supportive," said son Anees Bader.

It happened shortly after Friday night near Morris in Grundy County.

Illinois State Police say the driver of the minivan was going the wrong way on I-80, traveling west in an eastbound lane, when the driver struck Bader head on.

The minivan was pushed into the grassy median, but Bader's Toyota Yaris remained on the expressway and was hit by a semi-truck.

"You should have seen how mangled it was," Anees Bader said. "It seemed like someone put it in one of those paper shredders and just let it through."

Bader was pronounced dead at the scene.

Relatives say he was headed home to Bridgeview after delivering medicine to a nursing home.

It was a job Bader picked up after working 30-plus years at Brach's Candy Company.

"He retired, took a couple years off, and just kind of wanted to stay busy and at the same time help people," said Anees Bader. "He always wanted more work, just to keep going."

Abed Bader, who was Palestinian, had planned to travel overseas later this month for a large family reunion.

The driver of the minivan was taken to Morris Hospital with serious injuries.

Illinois State Police say they continue to investigate.

"What do you want me to say to the person or the person's family? 'You guys took my father. You guys, you guys cut his life short,'" Anees Bader said. "He was 66, but he was iron. He was made out of iron. He was a strong man."

Bader is survived by a wife, five sons, and four grandchildren. The family plans to lay him to rest tomorrow in accordance with their Muslim faith.