Cermak/Chinatown CTA Station Reopens After Deadly Tractor Trailer Crash
Authorities believe driver may have been under the influence of prescription drugs in tractor trailer crash
This was the scene a week ago, when a tractor-trailer plowed into the entrance of the Cermak/Chinatown Redline Station, killing 2 and injuring 21 in Chicago’s Southside.
Authorities are still trying to figure out what caused the tractor-trailer to slam into the pedestrian-laden area. Investigators believe the truck’s brakes either malfunctioned or were simply not used in the seconds before the crash.
The driver of the truck, who suffered minor injuries, refused a urine test at the scene and was found in possession of someone else’s prescription medication. He acted erratically once in police custody and refused to give a statement about the collision. He was cited for negligent driving, released from custody and is currently awaiting a court date.
Eyewitnesses on the scene reported seeing the driver exiting the freeway with his head down on the steering wheel. Then, they saw the truck slam into the station’s escalator traveling at approximately 40-50 mph. Two women near the escalator were killed, and 21 others were hurt.
According to U.S Transportation Department reports, the trucker’s company has had 41 accidents in the last 30 months, 15 of which resulted in fatalities.
The Cermak/Chinatown CTA Station re-opened this weekend after CTA crews rebuilt the stairway to the platform. The escalator, which bore the brunt of the truck’s blow, is still not operational. Crews are working to repair and redesign the station entrance to prevent any future tragedies.
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