Chicago Weather: Light snow creates icy roads; man dies in Elwood crash

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Light flurries and cold temperatures created slick roads and caused several crashes in the southwest suburbs.

CHICAGO - Drivers should build time into their Thursday morning commute and take care on the road. Light flurries and cold temperatures created slick roads and caused several crashes in the southwest suburbs.

A man was killed in a crash with a semi truck on an icy bridge in southwest suburban Elwood. The crash happened at 5:25 a.m. on the Arsenal Road bridge between I-55 and Elwood International Port Road, Elwood Police Chief Fred Hayes said.

A 2003 Pontiac was westbound on Arsenal when the driver lost control and the car slid into the path of an eastbound 2005 Freightliner semi, Hayes said.

The driver of the Pontiac, a 32-year-old Park Forest man, was killed instantly, Hayes said. His name has not yet been released.

A passenger in the Pontiac, a 39-year-old Richton Park man, was taken to Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet with serious injuries, Hayes said. The driver of the semi, a 59-year-old Aurora man, was also taken to Saint Joseph with minor injuries, and has since been released.

The Illinois State Police Accident Reconstruction Team was called to assist with the investigation. Hayes said it appears the driver of the Pontiac lost control because the road was icy. No charges or citations have been issued.

Emergency crews responded to spinouts and slideoffs on southbound I-55 near Route 53 in Bolingbrook and several crashes on eastbound I-80 near U.S. 30 in New Lenox, on I-55 from Cass to U.S. 30 and on I-80 from LaGrange Road to U.S. 30.

Several vehicles were involved in a crash on southbound I-55 near Lemont Road in Woodridge. Another crash involving multiple vehicles blocked Route 83 over the Cal Sag River in Lemont. No serious injuries were reported.

More than 200 snow trucks were deployed across Chicago early Thursday as forecasters predicted snow showers throughout the morning.

Snow began to fall across Chicago about 4 a.m. with minor accumulation expected through about 9 a.m., according to the National Weather Service. The snowfall was expected to resume about 1 p.m. with scattered snow showers throughout the Chicago area.

This is the first measurable snowfall the Chicago area is expected to see since December 2016. No snow fell in the months of January and February, which hasn't happened in at least 146 years.

The snow trucks will focus on salting and clearing arterial routes as well as overpasses, bridges and hills before the morning rush, according to the city's Department of Streets and Sanitation. The trucks will move to neighborhood streets if necessary once the snow stops and main streets are clear.

Thursday is expected to be cloudy with a high of 35 degrees, according to the weather service.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.
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