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Fatal Crash on Northwest Highway After Pickup Truck Falls from Route 53 Bridge, Palatine

Tue January 07 2014 6:59 am
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VIDEO: Crash investigation/extrication at scene of fatal crash off of Route 53 bridge onto Northwest Highway in Palatine.

UPDATE driver identity released: Julie Allard, 34, of Elgin has been identified as the victim of a fatal one-vehicle crash over the Route 53 bridge over Northwest Highway (Route 14). Julie Allard was pronounced dead at the scene at 10:12 p.m.

Palatine police and firefighter/paramedics responded about 9:05 PM Monday to a report of a crash with entrapment at Northwest Highway under Route 53 Palatine, IL. Police and firefighter/paramedics received a report that at least one person was trapped in a vehicle involved in a crash.

Palatine police were first on the scene and confirmed a person trapped in a rollover vehicle.

Firefighter/paramedics on the scene reported one victim in the vehicle was dead at the scene.

Julie Allard was with her “best friend” Cinnamon — a dog she adopted from a shelter 11 or 12 years ago. Both were heading home from Allard’s job at a nearby animal hospital.

— Tribune reporter Rosemary Regina Sobol, Animal lover dies in crash …

Firefighter/paramedics were working on extrication and checking for possible additional victims, as they realized the vehicle plunged about 50 feet over the side of the bridge from the southbound lanes of Route 53. The vehicle landed upside down on the median and westbound left lane of Route 14 (Northwest Highway). Police and firefighter/paramedics immediately searched the area on the bridge and on embankments to make sure no victims were ejected from the crash.

Firefighters stood by as A-Express Towing rolled over the victim’s pickup truck.

Palatine police left the scene and Illinois State police took over the scene. At least one Illinois State Police Crash Reconstruction Officer also responded to the crash scene. Cook County Sheriff’s deputies were also on the scene.

Tire tracks were visible near the middle of the bridge on the right shoulder near the outside wall barrier. Snow that was not cleared yet possibly acted as a ramp that caused the vehicle to launch over the side of the Route 53 bridge. In normal conditions, the outer barrier wall would have probably held the vehicle on the bridge.

Northwest Highway was closed in both directions near the crash scene from about 9:10 p.m. until 11:30 p.m. The westbound lanes were closed while Illinois State police were investigating the crash scene at least until 1:00 a.m.

A 62-year-old man driving a smaller car westbound on Northwest Highway hit the pickup truck in a minor collision, just west of the bridge, and before the Route on ramp and off ramp on the west side of Route 53.

Weather conditions were difficult for police and rescuers as the air temperature at midnight was -11 degrees with a wind chill of -21.

LIVE TRAFFIC MAP near precise location where vehicle landed after plunging off Route 53 bridge onto Northwest Highway …

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