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Victim of I-80 crash identified

Published: Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014 9:53 a.m. CST • Updated: Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014 10:02 p.m. CST

MINOOKA - A three-vehicle crash that occurred on Interstate 80 west this morning near Ridge Road claimed the life of a Bridgeview man. 

Rafal M. Szczepaniak, 26, was pronounced at the scene at 7:45 a.m. He was a passenger in a pick-up truck traveling westbound on I-80, according to a press release from Grundy County Coroner John Callahan's office. 

At about 10 a.m. traffic was opened back up on I-80 west near Ridge Road. It had been shut down for hours after the fatal accident occurred just before 5:30 a.m. today. 

The Grundy County Coroner's office and Illinois State Police District 5 are investigating the accident. 

According to a news release from District 5, a pick-up truck traveling west on I-80 at mile post 118 struck the rear of a parked truck tractor semi-trailer on the shoulder. The pick-up truck then bounced back into traffic striking another pick-up truck. Szczepaniak was a passenger in the pick-up that struck the back of the semi. 

The driver of both pick-up trucks and the semi driver were transported to Morris Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. 

Charges regarding the accident are unknown at this time. Minooka fire and EMS were the emergency responders on scene. 

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