For nearly half a mile, all one could really see were damaged cars and trucks on Wednesday when as many as 60 vehicles were involved in a horrific pileup on Chicago's Kennedy Expressway due to the mid-April snow. At least 14 people received injuries and were rushed to city hospitals which are anyway under pressure due to Covid-19 outbreak.
The incident took place on Wednesday morning (US time) when several cars lost control on the slippery expressway and swerved dangerously before hitting each other and the central divider. With more and more cars as well as trucks coming in on the road, the pileup soon expanded and would eventually lead to 60 vehicles being damaged. Local media reports say that the entire lane was blocked by the mangled vehicles and while the priority was to rescue drivers and passengers, it was only after that that the vehicles were removed for normal traffic to resume.
Fire department officials reportedly blamed low traction on the slippery road. An official of Illinois Department of Transportation, however, was quoted as saying that drivers may have been speeding because there was far less traffic than usual owing to stay-at-home orders.
As many as 12 ambulances were dispatched to the scene of the incident but the number of injured requiring medical attention was not as many as was initially expected.
Ironically, it was reported late March that the instances of road accidents across the US have come down amid the stay-at-home orders. Quartz had reported that San Francisco, a city where an average of 260 emergency calls were made each week in 2019, only had 110 such calls to report road accidents between March 17 and 23. Other major cities like Seattle and Los Angeles too have reported almost half the number of emergency calls reporting road accidents between March 17 and 23 than before. (Full report here)
An estimated 40,000 people are killed in road accidents across the US every year.