5 dead in pair of fiery, wrong-way Eisenhower Expy. crashes Monday morningon March 29, 2021 at 12:51 pm

Five people were killed in a pair of fiery, wrong-way crashes early Monday on the Eisenhower Expressway.

One crash happened downtown about 1:40 a.m. on I-290 near Wells Street, according to Illinois State Police.

A wrong-way driver on a westbound ramp collided head-on with a driver, causing both vehicles to erupt in flames, state police spokeswoman Gabriela Ugarte said in an emailed statement.

Both drivers and a passenger of the struck vehicle died on the scene, Ugarte said. The driver and two passengers of a third car struck by the crashing vehicles went to hospitals with minor injuries.

The ramp from eastbound I-290 to I-90 northbound was closed until 6:15 a.m., Ugarte said.

A half hour earlier, another fatal wrong-way crash happened on I-290 in west suburban Forest Park. About 1:10 a.m., a wrong-way driver in the eastbound lanes hit a car near Des Plaines Avenue, Ugarte said. Both drivers died at the scene. A passenger in the struck vehicle was hospitalized with injuries that weren’t life-threatening. Media reports showed vehicles on fire in the crash.

All eastbound lanes were closed until 6:10 a.m.

The Cook County medical examiner’s office hasn’t released the victims’ names.

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