Naperville Motorcycle Crash Involving Loss Of Motorcycle Control

There was a motorcycle accident Monday afternoon (September 19, 2016) in Naperville.   As a result of the crash, the motorcyclist was seriously injured.

According to the Naperville Police Department, the crash happened as a motorcyclist was riding northbound on Wehrli Road, heading toward Lisson Road.  At approximately 1:15 p.m., the motorcyclist, who was riding a 2003 Honda CBR,  lost control of the motorcycle.  The reason for this loss of control does not appear to be publicly available at this time.

The motorcyclist, who was identified as Victor Torres, 29, of Naperville, was taken to Edward Hospital for treatment of his accident injuries.  His injuries were considered to be “life-threatening” in nature.

The crash remains under investigation by the  Naperville Police Traffic Unit.

Those having information concerning the crash are asked to contact the Naperville Police Department’s Traffic Unit at 630-420-8833.

Additional details regarding this motorcycle crash can be seen in a variety of media sources, including the CBS Chicago article of September 20, 2016, titled “Naperville Police Investigating Serious Traffic Crash” as well as the Sepember 20 Naperville Patch article titled “Naperville Motorcyclist Fighting for His Life After Crash.”

Illinois State Police Car Collision On I-355 In Addison, Illinois

There was a collision in which a car struck a parked Illinois State Police (ISP) car early Sunday morning (August 28, 2016) on I-355 in Addison.

According to prosecutors, the collision happened on southbound I-355, north of Army Trail Road, at 12:44 a.m.

At that time – despite the police car having its emergency lights and “arrow stick” on, and being parked on the right shoulder of the expressway – the woman crashed into the parked car.

Illinois State Trooper Klecka, who was sitting in the car at the time of the crash, suffered injuries that were considered to be non-life-threatening in nature.

The woman, identified as Natasha Mister, 31, of Maywood, was charged with several traffic offenses, including one felony count of aggravated DUI causing great bodily harm.

An excerpt from the August 29, 2016 Lisle Patch article titled “Illinois State Trooper Injured When Drunk Woman Crashes Into Squad Car on I-355:  Prosecutors“:

An investigation revealed Mister had a blood alcohol content above .15.

Additional details regarding this DuPage County crash can be seen in a variety of media sources, including the Lisle Patch article mentioned above, as well as the August 29 Chicago Sun-Times article titled “Woman charged with DUI after crashing into state trooper.”

Woman Dies Following Bicycle Accident In Hinsdale

There was a fatal DuPage County bicycle accident Monday morning (August 22, 2016) in Hinsdale.

Details on the accident appear to be limited at this time.  The cause of the accident does not appear to be publicly disclosed.

According to Hinsdale Police, the accident happened at approximately 7:30 a.m. Monday, at Oak Street and Ravine Road, which is pictured below:

At that time, there was a collision between a vehicle and bicyclist.

The bicyclist, identified as Pamela French, 55, of Clarendon Hills, was taken to Hinsdale Hospital for treatment of her accident injuries.  She later died from her accident injuries.

The crash investigation is ongoing.

Additional details and possible updates concerning this fatal bicycle accident can be seen in a variety of media sources, including The Doings article of August 23, 2016 titled “Clarendon Hills woman dies in Hinsdale crash” as well as the August 23 Chicago Sun-Times article titled “Bicyclist killed in Hinsdale crash.”

Illinois Year 2016 Traffic Accident Fatalities Projected To Increase

Traffic accident fatalities in Illinois are projected to pass 1,000 this year (2016), which will be the first time since 2008 that this level will have been surpassed.

An excerpt from the August 13, 2016 The State Journal-Register article titled “Illinois traffic fatalities on pace for eight-year high in 2016“:

As of Friday, 629 people had died in vehicle, motorcycle, pedestrian and bicycle crashes in Illinois this year, up 50 from the same period of 2015. The increase follows 998 fatalities in 2015, which was the highest number since 1,043 died in 2008. Despite the increase, fatalities remain well below pre-recession levels of more than 1,200 a year.

There are many potential reasons for this increase in those who die in Illinois traffic accidents.  The State Journal-Register article mentioned above cites a few factors, including higher speed limits on rural interstates, increased distractions, more miles being driven, and other factors.

The increase in traffic accident deaths has been increasing nationally, although those in Illinois are outpacing the national increases.  Another excerpt from the article:

The deadly toll reflects national trends, though Kolosh said fatalities in Illinois are rising faster, even as average miles driven have lagged. The council reported 38,300 deaths nationwide in 2015, up 8 percent from 2014 and the largest annual increase in 50 years.

The article also provides statistics regarding recent-era (from 2006) annual Illinois traffic fatalities, as well as results from a survey regarding driving habits.

Additional details regarding these fatal Illinois traffic accident trends can be seen in article mentioned above, as well as The Southern article of August 16 titled “Illinois traffic fatalities expected to reach 1,000 in 2016.”

Report Concerning Drowsy Driving And Its Various Characteristics

On August 8, 2016, the Governors Highway Safety Administration (GHSA) published a report concerning the impact of “drowsy driving.”  Accompanying the release of this report was a press release titled “New Report Spotlights Dangers Of Drowsy Driving.”

A few excerpts from this release include:

A new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), Wake Up Call! Understanding Drowsy Driving and What States Can Do, points out that nearly 83.6 million sleep-deprived Americans are driving every day. And it’s taking a toll – an estimated 5,000 lives were lost in drowsy driving-related crashes last year.


While estimates of deaths caused by drowsy drivers range from 2% to 20% of all traffic fatalities, safety officials agree that the extent of the problem is not fully known. “There are challenges associated with both measuring and combating drowsy driving,” said GHSA Executive Director Jonathan Adkins, who oversaw the development of the report. “Law enforcement lack protocols and training to help officers recognize drowsy driving at roadside. And if a crash occurs, the drowsy driver may not report the cause due to concerns about monetary and other penalties.”

The Huffington Post article of August 11, 2016, titled “Sleeping At The Wheel Costs The U.S. A Shocking Amount Of Lives And Money” discusses drowsy driving and highlights eight notable aspects of the full report’s findings.  Four of these aspects, which are more fully discussed in the article, include:

2. Drowsy drivers are 3.5 times more likely to crash.

4. Drowsy driving plays a role in nearly a quarter of fatal crashes.

5. After 21 hours without sleep, your driving is about as good as if your were drunk.

8. More than two in five drivers admit to having fallen asleep at the wheel.

Of particular note is point #5 above, which is accompanied by a graphic in the article.  As explained on page 9 of the GHSA full report:

A motorist who has been awake for an extended period of time will likely experience performance deficits similar to that of someone who has been drinking. For example, a motorist who is up for a continuous 18 hours will typically exhibit performance levels similar to that of a person with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level of 0.05%. After 21 and 24 hours without sleep, performance mimics a BAC of 0.08% and 0.10%, respectively (Dawson & Reid, 1997; Arnedt et al., 2001).

The report then lists the common factors in drowsy driving crashes.

Additional details concerning drowsy driving accidents can be seen in the sources mentioned above.

“Head-On Collision” Involving “Wrong-Way Driver” On Route 83

There was a “wrong-way driver” collision on Route 83 near Addison in the early morning hours of August 3, 2016.   This Kingery Highway crash involved a United States Postal Service (USPS) semi tractor-trailer colliding with a SUV that had crossed into an opposing traffic lane.

According to information provided by the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office, the accident happened at approximately 1:00 a.m., on Route 83 near Interstate 290.

When first responders went to the accident scene, they saw that the USPS truck and SUV had been in a “head-on” collision.  The driver of the SUV had to be extricated from his vehicle.  The extrication process took 40 minutes, after which the man was flown to Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove for treatment of his accident injuries.  The man was in critical condition.

The driver of the USPS semi was taken to Elmhurst Hospital for treatment of his accident injuries.  He was in good condition.

Additional details and possible updates concerning this DuPage County accident involving a vehicle driving in the wrong direction can be seen in a variety of media sources, including the August 3, 2016 Chicago Sun-Times article titled “Head-on collision between SUV, semi closes Route 83 near Addison” as well as the August 3 Daily Herald article (with video) titled “One person in critical condition after head-on collision on Route 83.”

Fatal “Head-On” Collision In Unincorporated Bensenville

There was a fatal “head-on collision” Sunday afternoon in unincorporated Bensenville.   The crash involved two cars and a pickup truck.

According to the Bensenville Fire Department, fire department personnel began traveling to the accident scene at approximately 2:00 p.m.  The accident scene was at Grand Avenue and Crown Road.

The initial accident was a “head-on collision” involving a Ford Crown Victoria and Nissan sedan.  Following the crash, a pickup truck ran into one of the vehicles.

One person in the Nissan was killed in the collision.  Seven more people were hurt in the crash, and at least three of these people were critically injured.  The seven people were taken to area hospitals for treatment of their accident injuries.

Crash scene photos show extensive damage to at least the Crown Victoria.

Details on the reasons for this collision do not appear to be publicly available at this time.

Additional details and possible updates concerning this DuPage County fatal accident can be seen in a variety of media sources, including the July 31, 2016 Chicago Sun-Times article (with crash scene photo) titled “Police:  1 dead, 7 injured in unincorporated Bensenville collision” as well as the July 31 CBS Chicago article (with crash scene photo) titled “Person Killed In Crash Near Bensenville.”

Driver Dies Days After Car Crash In Aurora, Illinois

There was a car crash Saturday (July 16, 2016) in Aurora after which the driver died a few days later.  The accident happened on Indian Trail Road at approximately 2:00 p.m., according to Aurora Police.

The accident involved an apparent vehicle loss of control.  According to Aurora Police, the man was attempting to turn south onto Mansfield Drive, when his vehicle suddenly turned back right at a high rate of speed.  In doing so, the car then ran over a raised median, went across westbound lanes, and hit several trees and bushes.  The car, a Cadillac CTS, came to a stop after hitting a tree in a back yard in the 1200 block of York Court.

The man was identified as Arnold G. Breitung, 90, of Aurora.

An excerpt from the July 22, 2016 Chicago Sun-Times article titled “90-year-old man dies 5 days after Aurora crash“:

Breitung, who was not wearing a seatbelt at the time, suffered head and spine injuries in the crash, according to police. There was no one else in the car.

Breitung was taken to a hospital for treatment of his accident injuries, and was later transferred to Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove.  He died on Thursday morning.

This fatal traffic accident is being investigated by the Aurora Police Traffic Division.

Additional details and possible updates concerning this crash can be seen in a variety of media sources, including the Sun-Times article mentioned above as well as the July 22 Aurora Patch article titled “Aurora Man Dies from Injuries in Single-Vehicle Crash.”

Pavement Buckling As A DuPage County Road Hazard

Road hazards are a subject that has been discussed often on this site, as such road hazards can be hazardous to motorists and motorcyclists.  Road hazards can take many forms, including items that are sitting on the roadway or are falling off of other vehicles.  These items, including deer running across the roadway, often are unexpected and pose a challenge to drivers who are seeking to avoid hitting such objects.

As well, there are various types of road hazards relating to pavement deformities, including potholes, broken pavement, uneven pavement, large cracks, and gravel.

Many types of road hazards are further discussed on the DuPage County Road Hazards page.

One type of road hazard that is both unexpected and potentially (very) dangerous to motorists is that of buckling pavement.  This typically happens during high outdoor temperatures, and typically involves a substantial, unforeseen “bump” forming on the roadway as the pavement breaks apart and rises.  While this pavement buckling is rare, it does happen.  One recent example in the Chicago area was seen on South Lake Shore Drive in July 2016, and is discussed in the July 12, 2016 CBS Chicago article (with video) titled “The Reason Lake Shore Drive Pavement Buckles.”

On July 20, 2016, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) issued a warning about pavement buckling, given that Chicago area weather (along with other weather in the region) is expected to climb well into the 90-100 degree range.  The IDOT news release is titled “Extreme Heat Could Lead to Pavement Failures.” (pdf)  An Excerpt from the release:

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is urging motorists to be on the alert for the possibility of pavement buckling on roads throughout the state in the next few days due to the recent rainfall and extreme heat in the forecast. The combination of very high temperatures and precipitation can lead to pavement expanding and ultimately buckling or blowing out, causing uneven driving surfaces in some areas. As long as the heat and humidity persists, IDOT will be monitoring the situation, with crews available to make repairs as quickly as possible if they are needed.

Additional details regarding this possible pavement buckling can be seen in the IDOT and CBS Chicago sources mentioned above.

Accident On I-290 Leads To The Death Of Two People

There was a fatal accident on I-290 near Elmhurst on Saturday, July 16, 2016.  The accident happened east of North Avenue.

According to the Illinois State Police (ISP), the collision happened at approximately 4:14 p.m. Saturday, when a 2008 Acura “rear-ended” a Nissan.

The Nissan then hit the rear of a semi truck’s trailer.

Two passengers in the Nissan, identified as Robert J. Fridlund, 82, and Norine D. Fridlund, 77, of Elk Grove Village, died following this MVA (multi-vehicle accident.)

Additional details and possible updates concerning this fatal expressway crash can be seen in a variety of media sources, including the July 16, 2016 Daily Herald article titled “2 die after crash on I-290 near Elmhurst” as well as the July 17 article titled “Two die in I-290 crash near Elmhurst.”