The driver of a tractor-trailer that struck and killed a northwest Indiana man and injured three others in a seven-vehicle pileup on I-290 on Thursday has been cited for failing to reduce his speed, authorities said. Christopher Follett, 37, of Munster, died as a result of the crash, which happened at about 2 p.m. when he and drivers in front of him had to stop suddenly in heavy traffic in the far right eastbound lane near St. Charles Road in Elmhurst. Follett was hit from behind by a tractor-trailer driven by Donald Hill, 47, of Rhinelander, Wis., shoving Follett’s 2004 Chrysler sedan underneath another tractor-trailer in front of him, according to a news release from the Illinois State Police. The impact pushed the second semi into the middle lane, touching off a chain reaction that damaged three other vehicles, including that of Nicholas Russo, 25, of Bartlett, whose Toyota van ran into the back of another vehicle, the release stated. The collision caused a massive fire involving both Hill’s and Follett’s vehicles. All seven vehicles contained only the drivers, and state police said one driver was taken to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood and two others were taken to Elmhurst Hospital in Elmhurst for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. Police said all of the injured people were the drivers of the tractor-trailer trucks but did not identify which ones were taken to each hospital.
The other three motorists were treated at the scene. Hill and Russo were both cited for failing to reduce their speed, according to the release.