Family Headed For Spring Break Vacation Narrowly Escapes Horrific Tragedy On Southbound I-290/Il-53 Near Elk Grove Village

Elk Grove Village firefighter/paramedics and Illinois State Police responded about 5:31 AM Saturday to a report of a vehicle fire at southbound 41.996913,-88.025061 (I-290 and Thorndale Avenue Elk Grove Village, IL). Police and firefighter/paramedics received a report that a car was on fire, but arrived to find a crash had occurred. A small car rear-ended a minivan in the right lane or shoulder of southbound I-290/IL-53 just north of Thorndale Avenue. The car with front-end damage ended up in front of the minivan. The car was fully-involved with flames when firefighter/paramedics arrived.

Firefighter/paramedics were evaluating seven patients and called for an EMS Box Alarm at 5:42 a.m. All vehicle occupants and a Labrador Retriever escaped the vehicles on their own.

The car fire was extinguished at 5:45 a.m. Firefighters worked extrication tools at the rear of the minivan -- possibly to release stuck luggage or to secure the vehicle for towing -- the reason was not confirmed.

Firefighter/paramedics from Addison, Rolling Meadows, Schaumburg, and Wood Dale assisted Elk Grove Village firefighter/paramedics. Arlington Heights firefighter/paramedics were initially called to the scene, but were held up when it was determined they were not needed.

A family in the mini-van had just started their Spring Break departure for a vacation. Possibly six people and a Yellow Lab were in the minivan. All people and the dog were safe at the scene.

The last patients of seven total patients were transported from the scene at about 6:27 a.m. All patients were transported to Alexian Brothers Medical Center. None of the injuries were believed to be life-threatening.

A witness on the scene reported he saw an Arlington Heights police car with lights activated at the scene with the crashed car burning as he passed northbound on I-290/IL-53. The Arlington Heights police sergeant in command at Arlington Heights Police Department Headquarters refused to answer any questions about the incident, and referred questions to the Illinois State Police. Presumably the Arlington Heights police unit allegedly on the scene may have been en route to assist another police department, or may have been transporting a prisoner to another jail, or picking up a prisoner for extradition. There didn't seem to be any reasonable cause why Arlington Heights Police would not comment on whether the Arlington Heights police officer was involved in the rescue or securing of crash victims, on the well-being of the police officer, or why the officer was out of the Arlington Heights jurisdiction.

Elk Grove Village firefighters and an Illinois State Trooper who was not first on the scene both reported they did not see an Arlington Heights Police Department police squad on the scene.

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