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State

Ice closes expressway, blamed for fatal crash

(MCT) — Black ice and the season's first snow flurries caused "a ton of crashes" in the Chicago area overnight, including a fatal accident on the Elgin-O'Hare Expressway, police said.

A 42-year-old man was fatally struck by a vehicle after leaving his own car following a collision on the expressway just west of Gary Avenue, police said.

Dhirajial Tejala Ratanpara, of the 1400 block of Sutter Drive in Hanover Park, was pronounced dead at Alexian Brothers Medical Center at 1:37 a.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

Parts of the expressway were closed overnight because of the ice, police said. Troopers cautioned drivers to slow down,  especially when passing accidents or vehicles parked by the side of the road

State police patrolling area toll roads responded to 17 crashes between 9:45 p.m. and 10:45 p.m., said Master Sgt. Nick Hasan, way above the typical 1 or 2 crashed during that time.

Hasan said a police cruiser was hit Monday night while responding to the scene of an accident. “Troopers were dodging cars coming at them,” he said.

State police based in Elgin also saw "a ton of crashes," Master Sgt. Amy Pelletier said.

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