Skokie-owned truck involved in fatal Glenview wreck

The garbage truck involved in an accident that killed three people in Glenview this week is owned by the village of Skokie, and the driver has been a village employee for 19 years, officials said.

Skokie officials said in a statement posted to the village website that the garbage truck was on its way to the Glenview transfer station Tuesday afternoon when the accident happened. Fire engulfed the crushed car and the cab of the truck, but the garbage truck driver escaped without injury.

"The village refuse truck had complete right of way and entered the intersection, at which time a passenger vehicle violated the two-way stop sign control and entered the intersection," the statement read.

The truck was northbound on Harlem Avenue and ran over a car headed east on Harrison Street at about 12:40 p.m., police have said.

The Cook County medical examiner's office could not confirm the identities, race or gender of the victims by Wednesday evening. Two of the victims died primarily of "thermal injuries" — fire and heat — and the third died of multiple blunt injuries as well as from thermal injuries, according to the medical examiner's office. It could take up to two months to identify the victims using dental records, officials said.

Glenview Deputy police Chief Stefan Johnson said he could not confirm nor dispute Skokie's version of the crash because his department is still investigating.

"We are standing by (our) information," Skokie spokeswoman Ann Tennes said.

Tennes said the employee has been with the village for 19 years — driving garbage trucks for 14 years — and has a commercial driver's license. The driver, whose name has not been released, will get counseling as part of the village's employee assistance program and is not expected back behind the wheel of a village truck until next week, she said.

"Neither of those actions are punitive," Tennes said. "Hopefully this will help him get through this trauma."

Several bouquets of flowers had been left at crash site by Wednesday afternoon, one tied to a nearby tree.

Glenview Deputy Fire Chief Ralph Ensign said he arrived at the scene minutes after the first responders. Later, he reviewed video of the crash and fire from multiple sources.

"There was very little, if anything, they could have done in an attempt to rescue those people because of the volume of the fire," Ensign said.

Twitter @chachkevitch

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • Chicago sues red light camera firm for $300 million

    Chicago sues red light camera firm for $300 million

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration has sued Chicago's former red light camera operator, Redflex Traffic Systems, for more than $300 million on grounds the entire program was built on a $2 million bribery scheme at City Hall that has already led to federal corruption convictions.

  • Marrow's 'The Gold Standard' raises the Chicago rock bar

    Marrow's 'The Gold Standard' raises the Chicago rock bar

    The four musicians in Marrow know quite a bit about bringing diverse influences to the table. After all, three of them, singer-guitarist Liam Kazar, singer-keyboardist Macie Stewart and bassist Lane Beckstrom were in Kids These Days, a now-defunct septet that combined jazz, funk, rap and rock in...

  • The Kids These Days family tree

    The Kids These Days family tree

    From its 2009 beginnings to its 2013 demise, Chicago's Kids These Days seemed like one of the most promising acts the city had seen in years. While the band split up at the height of its hype, its members have since gone on to do bigger and better things—seriously impressive considering the hip-hop/rock/jazz...

  • Solid 'Gold': How ex-Kids These Days members came back stronger as Marrow

    Solid 'Gold': How ex-Kids These Days members came back stronger as Marrow

    After the dissolution of Kids These Days, the much-buzzed about Chicago fusion-jazz-rock-rap septet that split in spring 2013 just a few months after releasing its only album, “Traphouse Rock,” some of its members spent what seems like all of 20 minutes bandless. "We were driving back from the...

  • Mr Twin Sister's 'In the House of Yes' is one of last year's hidden treasures

    Mr Twin Sister's 'In the House of Yes' is one of last year's hidden treasures

    Welcome to RedEye's "Song of the Day," an ongoing feature where music reporter Josh Terry or another RedEye staff member highlights something they're listening to. Some days the track will be new, and some days it will be old. No matter what, each offering is something you should check out. Check...

  • GrubHub's weekend customer-support issues made people hangry

    GrubHub's weekend customer-support issues made people hangry

    Technical difficulties at GrubHub and Seamless over the weekend drove hordes of hangry would-be customers to air their grievances on social media. The food ordering and delivery sites, which merged in 2013 and use GrubHub’s back-end technology, errantly accepted payments on Saturday evening without...