Massive truck fire shuts down I-294 near Willow Springs Road; northbound lanes mostly open again

ByCate Cauguiran and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Wednesday, November 15, 2023
Massive truck fire shuts down NB Tri-State Tollway in SW suburbs for hours
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A massive truck fire shut down northbound traffic on I-294 near Exit 22 for hours Tuesday afternoon and evening. No one was injured.

WILLOW SPRINGS, Ill. (WLS) -- Northbound lanes of I-294 in Willow Springs are mostly open again after being shut down for hours in the middle of rush hour by a massive truck fire.

A car hauler was engulfed in flames between La Grange Road and Willow Springs Road on the bridge over the Des Plaines River.

A massive truck fire has blocked northbound traffic on I-294 in Willow Springs, IL on Tuesday.

Illinois State Police said fire was the result of a crash involving two commercial vehicles, but did not release any details about the circumstances of the crash or how many vehicles the car hauler was carrying.

Chopper7 caught at least one explosion when it was over the scene.

Chopper7 caught an explosion whe it was over the scene of a massive truck fire on northbound I-294 in Willow Springs.

Jessica Selim was driving past the fiery crash with her father and toddler when they both heard and felt an explosion as a result of this crash.

"We saw then just this huge ball of fire," she said. "We heard a lot of like sizzling and cracking."

Then they were startled by the sound of an explosion.

"We heard and felt that explosion and that boom, and so the whole car rumbled," Selim said.

Multiple explosions were reported.

The bridge was built in the $500 million Mile Long Bridge Project, which began in the summer of 2019 and was completed in 2022.

Illinois State Police said the driver made it out alive and suffered only minor injuries, and no further injuries were reported.

Southbound traffic was not impacted. Three of the four northbound lanes reopened as of 9:20 p.m.