Chicago Park District salt truck slides into Lake Michigan near Oak Street Beach

Karen Jordan Image
Wednesday, December 11, 2019
EMBED <>More Videos

A Chicago Park District salt truck slid into Lake Michigan near Oak Street Beach on Wednesday.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Chicago Park District salt truck slid into Lake Michigan near Oak Street Beach Wednesday morning.

At about 7:20 a.m., a Chicago Park District truck was salting the bike path along the lake in the 900 block of North Lake Shore Drive when it hit a slick spot and slid into the lake, the Chicago Fire Department said.

CAUGHT ON CAMERA: See moment salt truck slides into Lake Michigan

Security video from a neighbor's home shows how the salt truck, driven by two Park District employees, was maneuvering north on the bike path right at the curve when it hit a patch of black ice and started to fishtail.

The men jumped out of the truck before it went in the water. Both are in good condition.

Police and fire marine units responded to the scene.

The crash comes as light snow fell on parts of the Chicago area Wednesday morning, creating slick road conditions.

RAW VIDEO: Watch salt truck slide into Lake Michigan

The high lake levels and the curve along the path made it a very dangerous situation.

"We need to make sure that everyone remembers that with the high lake levels we have right now, the water comes up even higher and up onto the bike path and it might not look like it's dangerous, but it could still be a sheet of glass where anybody can slide and it's at an angle here, so you can slide right into the lake just like this vehicle did," said Deputy District Chief CFD Marine Dive Operations Jason Lach.

WATCH: Salt truck pulled from Lake Michigan

The cab of the truck remained above water as crews waited for a heavy wrecker to come in and tow the truck out of the lake. It's a slow process that eventually came to an end about five hours after the truck first went into the water.

The Lakefront Trail was closed from Grand Avenue to North Avenue because of the slick pavement.

The Park District released a statement saying, "A Chicago Park District facility maintenance vehicle carrying two employees slid into Lake Michigan at Oak Street this morning. The employees were applying melting compound to address the icy conditions on the lakefront trail. Both employees jumped from the vehicle as it slid into the water. Thankfully, no serious injuries were sustained. The Chicago Park District is working to pull the vehicle from the lake.

"This incident underscores the importance of being aware of rising lake levels and icy conditions particularly during the Winter months. We continue to urge the public to adhere to advisories and respect closures along the lakefront."