Many callers reported a multi-vehicle accident involving a tractor-trailer in the westbound express lands of Palatine Road around 5:50PM on Thursday. Prospect Heights and Wheeling Fire Departments were dispatched to the area and located six cars and the semi strewn about the express lanes just east of Wheeling Road. Prospect Heights Engine 39 was the closest engine but could not enter the highway as there was solid traffic with no shoulder. All companies had to use the one-way frontage road or come the wrong way down the expressway.

Two patients had to be extricated from their vehicles. A total of five ambulances were sent to the scene to evaluate the drivers, but only three ambulances transported patients to area hospitals. Many of the drivers and occupants refused treatment on the scene. Along with the five ambulances, two battalion chiefs, one truck, one squad, and three engines were dispatched. Multiple hydraulic tools were put to work.

The westbound lanes remained closed well into the night as the accident investigation team worked the scene.

Larry Shapiro and Tim Olk were both at the scene and have images which will be posted in separate articles.

multi-vehicle accident on Palatine Road in Wheeling 3-28-13

Prospect Heights firefighters work to free the driver from this car. Larry Shapiro photo

multi-vehicle accident on Palatine Road in Wheeling 3-28-13

Two ambulances from Wheeling and one from Prospect Heights were on the original response. Larry Shapiro photo

multi-vehicle accident on Palatine Road in Wheeling 3-28-13

A firefighter with a hydraulic spreader opens the damaged door. Larry Shapiro photo

multi-vehicle accident on Palatine Road in Wheeling 3-28-13

Paramedics remove the driver of another car. Larry Shapiro photo

 

multi-vehicle accident on Palatine Road in Wheeling 3-28-13

The driver is helped onto a stretcher. Larry Shapiro photo

multi-vehicle accident on Palatine Road in Wheeling 3-28-13

Drivers stranded by the accident watch as firefighters tend to the patients and hazards. Larry Shapiro photo

multi-vehicle accident on Palatine Road in Wheeling 3-28-13

The driver is removed from the car. Larry Shapiro photo

 

multi-vehicle accident on Palatine Road in Wheeling 3-28-13

The driver of this car was also extricated by firefighters. Larry Shapiro photo

multi-vehicle accident on Palatine Road in Wheeling 3-28-13

The driver of the red SUV is taken to an awaiting ambulance. Larry Shapiro photo

multi-vehicle accident on Palatine Road in Wheeling 3-28-13

Damage to the truck. Larry Shapiro photo

multi-vehicle accident on Palatine Road in Wheeling 3-28-13

Several cars were forced up along the center median by the truck. Larry Shapiro photo

multi-vehicle accident on Palatine Road in Wheeling 3-28-13

The driver of this vehicle was transported to Lutheran General Hospital after firefighters completed the extrication. Larry Shapiro photo

multi-vehicle accident on Palatine Road in Wheeling 3-28-13

Wheeling Engine 23 blocked traffic from passing on the opposite side of the highway. Larry Shapiro photo

multi-vehicle accident on Palatine Road in Wheeling 3-28-13

Two of the damaged vehicles at the eastern section of the accident scene. Larry Shapiro photo

multi-vehicle accident on Palatine Road in Wheeling 3-28-13

Three of the six cars along the concrete center barrier. Larry Shapiro photo

Click here for a gallery with more images from Larry Shapiro.

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