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Three people were seriously injured when a semi-truck caused a chain-reaction collision with four vehicles in northwest Illinois, according to the Illinois State Police (ISP).
The collision occurred shortly after 2 p.m. Wednesday on U.S. Route 20, less than a half-mile east of Tiger Whip Road in Jo Daviess County. Motorists traveling westbound on U.S. Route 20 had slowed or stopped because of construction work in the area. The semi-truck failed to stop and struck a Toyota SUV, causing a chain-reaction collision with a Nissan Maxima, a Hyundai, and a Honda Pilot.
The three people injured in the chain-reaction collision were:
- Zaid F. Abdallah, 34, of Chicago, driver of the Toyota;
- Mario Sota, 48, of Elmwood Park, IL, driver of the Hyundai;
- Randy L. Huenuryefeld, 43, of Freeport, IL, a passenger in the Maxima.
All three sustained “incapacitating injuries,” according to the ISP. An incapacitating injury is any injury, other than a fatal injury, that prevents the injured person from walking, driving or normally continuing the activities they were capable of performing before the injury.
The semi-truck driver, Wayne A. Pagryzinski, 66, of Wausau, WI, was uninjured. Pagryzinski was cited by the ISP for driving too fast for conditions. The ISP investigating the circumstances of the collision.
Work-zone crashes on rise
According to WorkZoneSafety.org, there were an estimated 96,626 crashes in work zones in 2015, an increase of 7.8 percent from 2014. In addition, the total represents a 42 percent increase from 2013, when there were an all-time low of 67,887 work-zone crashes.
Some additional figures on work-zone crashes:
- Almost 30 percent of all work-zone crashes involve large trucks.
- The number of people killed in work-zone crashes involving large trucks has been increasing. Over 1,000 fatalities and over 18,000 injuries have occurred during the last five years.
- A work-zone crash occurs once every 5.4 minutes.
- Every day, 70 work-zone crashes result in at least one injury.
When do they happen?
- 65 percent of fatal work-zone crashes involving large trucks occur during the day.
- Six times as many fatal work-zone crashes involving large trucks occur on a weekday as compared to Saturday and Sunday.
Where do they take place?
- About 60 percent of fatal work-zone crashes involving large trucks take place on divided roads.
- More than 70 percent of fatal work-zone crashes involving large trucks occur on level roadways.
- Almost 90 percent of fatal work-zone crashes involving large trucks occur on straight roads.
Tips to avoid a work-zone crash
- Pay attention to work-zone signs, especially speed limits.
- Leave enough space between you and other motorists.
- Be prepared to stop or slow unexpectedly.
- Expect to stop when you see a “flagger ahead” sign.
- If you are stopped or slowed in a traffic line, consider turning on your flashers to warn traffic coming up behind you.
- Watch for traffic and workers going in and out of the work zone.
- Get into an open lane as soon as possible at lane closures.
- Be aware of motorists racing to get ahead of you or trying to turn in front of you at the last second.
- Use alternative routes to avoid work zones whenever possible.