Even though the temperature was hovering around freezing with a slight breeze blowing from the southeast on the morning of April 5, 2016, it was not the weather that claimed the life of Mr. Vincente Santoyo along Interstate 90 in Des Plaines. Instead, the Elgin Omega Demolition Corporation worker was tragically killed by a falling 45-ton beam at a freeway construction worksite. The incident also caused serious injuries to three other employees.
A report by the Chicago Tribune notes that construction site crew members were removing the beam by using heavy equipment on Touhy Avenue under the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (Interstate 90) when the accident occurred. The critically injured 47-year-old victim was rushed to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital where he was later pronounced dead. The Chicago-area native had worked in the construction industry for more than two decades.
The incident occurred on the old westbound lanes portion of the interstate that is part of the massive reconstruction I-90 project. The construction job involving the widening of the existing roadway between Chicago and Elgin to eight lanes has caused massive traffic problems at the busiest times of the day. To complete the project, these lanes were temporarily closed down and traffic redirected on the eastbound portion of the road that had already been rebuilt and completed. It remains unclear if the incident that took the life of Mr. Santoyo will delay construction and the final completion of the freeway widening project.