Date registered: Sep 2005
Vehicle: '02 CLK55 (sold) / '06 Cayenne Turbo S
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
MB's accident avoidance system...
49 cars, 2 pileups, 1 culprit
Black ice is cited...
(from 1/19/2005 Chicago Tribune)
The first accident, which involved 19 cars, was reported just after 6 p.m. on a bridge at 135th Street and Halsted.
"That was a pretty good-sized crash," Ryan said. "It was a skating rink up there."
The second collision, also on a bridge, happened a half-mile away, around 140th Street and Halsted, about 20 minutes later. That pileup involved 30 cars mashed together in a vehicular orgy.
"This was almost twice as bad as the first one," Ryan said. "The overpass had frozen over in a matter of minutes, and a sheet of ice formed at the top of the bridge." Ryan said the speed limit is 40 m.p.h., but many drivers go at least 10 m.p.h. faster. Because of the arc of the road, motorists didn't realize they were about to drive into a crash, so they came through at full speed.
A portion of the road was closed for about four hours as investigators tried to clear the scene. Some 36 vehicles incurred extensive damage and had to be towed away.
Many vehicles could not be resuscitated. At least two--a '91 Grand Am and an `88 Caprice--were sold to local auto dealers for parts.
"It was a disaster," said tow truck driver David High. "I towed 21 vehicles. They were mangled, their parts were falling off."
Motorists, apparently intent on avoiding a late-model Mercedes Benz thrown into the mix, were able to avoid hitting it, some by driving into the median so they wouldn't end up paying for its repairs, High said.
The Benz was among few vehicles drivable after the demolition derby.