By Katherine Rosenberg-Douglas Chicago Tribune

Three people were killed when their vehicles collided early Monday, after one of the drivers apparently had been traveling the wrong way on Interstate 290 at the east end of the Eisenhower Expressway downtown, according to Illinois State Police.

Troopers were called to the eastbound Eisenhower, east of the Byrne Interchange, around 1:40 a.m. to investigate the crash, according to an email from Trooper Gabriela Ugarte, a state police spokeswoman. Just before 2 a.m., I-290 east, where it turns into Ida B. Wells Drive, was closed for the crash investigation and traffic was rerouted to Interstate 94 north and south, officials said.

A 51-year-old man from Skokie and a 24-year-old woman from Chicago were killed, along with a third person, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. The identities of the three had not yet been released.

The crash was the second wrong-way fatal crash on the Eisenhower in about 30 minutes. Two people also were killed in Forest Park about 1:10 a.m. Monday when a vehicle headed the wrong way on the expressway crashed into a second vehicle, officials said.

A total of three vehicles were involved in the crash in Chicago and all three caught fire, officials said.

Troopers determined the first vehicle, a black 2016 Land Rover, had been going west on the eastbound side of the Eisenhower, state police said in a release. The front end of the Land Rover struck the front end of the second vehicle, a gray 2017 Ford Edge, that was in the right lane, causing it to spin out of control and hit the third vehicle, a black 2017 Ford Escape, which had been going east in the left lane.

The force of the initial collision caused the Land Rover and the Edge to quickly become engulfed in flames, police said. The second vehicle also was forced back into the third vehicle, which also caught fire, officials said.

The driver of the first vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene, as were the driver and a passenger in the second vehicle.

The driver and two passengers in the third vehicle, all women from Chicago, were taken to hospitals with injuries that were not considered life-threatening, police said.

Around 6:15 a.m., the expressway was reopened, officials said.

In the Forest Park crash, a black 2004 Honda sedan was driving west in the eastbound lanes of the Eisenhower Expressway and hit a silver 2015 Infiniti sedan head-on, according to a state police news release.

The driver of each vehicle was pronounced dead on the scene, officials said. According to state police, the driver of the Honda was a female. The driver of the Infiniti was a 21-year-old woman from Melrose Park.

A passenger in the Infiniti, a 26-year-old man from Berwyn, was taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries not considered to be life-threatening, state police said.

No other information about their identities was available late Monday afternoon.

Original article: chicagotribune.com

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