Man killed after vehicle crashes into wall in Prospect Heights, catches fire, lands in river

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Sunday, August 28, 2022
Man killed in fiery north suburban crash, authorities say
Aaron Willard, 32, of Elk Grove Village was killed when the vehicle he was driving hit a wall, caught fire and landed in the Des Plaines River.

PROSPECT HEIGHTS, Ill. (WLS) -- One person was killed in a fiery north suburban crash early Saturday morning, fire officials said.

The crash happened in Prospect Heights around 6 a.m. near the intersection of North River Road and South Milwaukee Avenue, authorities said. A vehicle was traveling eastbound on River Road towards Milwaukee Avenue when it struck a guardrail and a concrete-retaining wall. The vehicle then caught on fire and went airborne over the wall before landing in the Des Plaines River.

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The driver was ejected from the vehicle and died from their injuries, authorities said. He was identified to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office as Aaron Willard, 32, of Elk Grove Village.

Rescue crews initially said they were searching the water for more potential victims, but it was later determined that no one else was inside the vehicle.

Authorities have not said what caused the crash. During an investigation, Milwaukee Avenue between 540 North Milwaukee Ave. and River Road will be closed, authorities said. River Road between East Old Willow Road and Milwaukee Ave. will be closed as well.