A 23-year-old Berwyn woman was killed in a crash on Interstate 55 while riding in an Uber with friends after a night of celebrating her birthday in downtown Chicago.
Jamie Poulos and two friends were headed home to Berwyn at about 3:20 a.m. Sunday when another vehicle slammed into their rideshare vehicle in the southbound lanes at Damen in Chicago. The Uber burst into flames.
Poulos, who had turned 23 on Thursday, was killed and pronounced at the scene.
"It's devastating. It's just devastating," said Poulos' mother, Andrea Poulos.
Her friend Anastacio Morales, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, was the only one able to open his door to get out. When the others did not follow, his sister said he went back and pulled both the driver and one of his friends from the burning car. Poulos was pinned in and could not be rescued.
"I hope he understands he saved a life and and there's nothing he can do. I hope he understands that he is a hero," said sister Guayni Quesada.
"I feel so bad for him. He feels terrible. They were best friends. They're good kids," Andrea Poulos said of Morales.
Morales was briefly hospitalized following the incident, but relatives said he's home.
A third friend remains hospitalized with serious burns.
A female passenger in the vehicle that struck the Uber was also hospitalized. The driver of that car, a 22-year-old man from Homer Glen, was uninjured, according to Illinois State Police.
The Poulos family is Greek Orthodox. Their family's Easter celebration was to have taken place on Sunday with a special cake to further commemorate Jamie's birthday.
All southbound lanes were closed for nearly eight hours as state police investigated the crash. State police reopened the expressway at about 11 a.m.
Berwyn woman, 23, killed in I-55 crash after celebrating birthday
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