Four Illinois men killed in fiery wrong-way crash

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 06, 2012 12:08 PM
Four Illinois men killed in fiery wrong-way crash

By Mary Wisniewski

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Four Chicago-area men were killed Monday in a fiery crash when a wrong-way driver on Interstate 80 smashed into another car.

Alcohol is believed to have played a part in the early morning collision near the Chicago suburb of Hazel Crest, according to Illinois State Police spokeswoman Monique Bond.

Witnesses saw a 1996 Infiniti travelling at a high rate of speed get onto I-80, going eastbound in the westbound lanes, she said. The car, which contained four men, hit a 1999 Ford wagon head-on and both cars were engulfed in flames, Bond said.

The driver of the Ford, Jason Wepsiec, 35, was killed. Also killed were Jorge Pina, 27, Gustavo Vargas, 29, and Armando Ruiz, 29, who were in the Infiniti. A passenger from the Infiniti was injured and in stable condition at an area hospital, according to Bond.

Everyone involved was wearing a seatbelt, the spokeswoman added.

This is the second wrong-way driving incident on Chicago-area expressways in a week, according to Bond. Late last week, a wrong-way driver on the Stevenson Expressway crashed into another car. There were no fatalities in that crash.

(Reporting By Mary Wisniewski; Editing by Paul Thomasch)