Truck drives off I-80, hits Morris apartment building after mechanical failure, police say

Children, driver suffer minor injuries

Stephanie Wade Image
Wednesday, June 12, 2024
13 displaced after semi hits apartment building
Thirteen people were displaced after a semi hit an apartment building in Morris.

MORRIS, Ill. (WLS) -- A semitrailer crashed into an apartment building in the south suburbs Wednesday morning, Morris police said.

Morris police and fire crews and other emergency teams responded about 9:30 a.m. to the area of 1800 Anne Lane for the reported crash.

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The truck was traveling east on Interstate 80 when it experienced a mechanical failure, left the highway and hit the building, police said.

It traveled at least 200 feet, over a ditch and through trees before hitting the building. The truck missed gas lines, one firefighter said.

Branches punctured its front windows.

The siding was ripped off the apartment building, and insulation is coming out of the walls.

No one was seriously injured in the incident, officials said.

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The driver walked away from the crash with minor injuries. He said he's OK.

Two children were taken to the hospital by family members with minor injuries, Morris fire officials said.

The building and its apartments have been cleared, but the extent of the damage was not immediately clear.

Morris fire officials said 13 residents have been displaced; a building inspector will need to determine if the building is still structurally sound.

Several units were damaged.

Chopper 7 was over the scene about 11 a.m., and the truck appeared to be jackknifed into one side of the building.

Some residents said more people weren't injured because many had already left for work.

"I was just in shock to see your home just utterly destroyed," resident Jody Doran said. "I said, 'Can you please repeat that? What?' And she said, 'A semi truck plowed into our apartment building.'"

Doran's unit was one of the apartments badly damaged, but she and her daughter had already left for work.

"I'm grateful that nobody was seriously hurt, but it's really emotional because everything you have is in there, you know. And her cat is still missing, and I know it sounds crazy because it's a cat. But, that's her whole emotional support animal, and he's been a really good part of our family, so I'm hoping that we find him," Doran said.

Gillian Doran said her cat is her biggest concern.

"Anything else can be replaced, but he's all that matters. I can get anything else. I just want to make sure he's OK," she said.

The Red Cross responded to help those displaced by providing some financial assistance until insurance kicks in.

"The apartments that are displaced have already been told. They are the ones who have filled out with a Red Cross, but, for me and another apartment, they're just waiting to see if the building will collapse. And, if it does, then we are going to fill out an application," resident Emma Phillips said.

Phillips said she's always worried something like this could happen living so close to the highway.

"I thought of it. I thought of it, yeah. But I was thinking there's a giant empty lot over there and a bunch of buildings over there. The likelihood of it hitting mine isn't super high. But I'm not really shocked that it happened," she said.

Anne Lane will be closed during the investigation.

Illinois State Police are investigating.