3 killed, 1 critically injured in Eisenhower Expressway crash

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FOX 32 News / Sun-Times Media Wire - Three people were killed and a fourth was seriously injured in a single-vehicle car crash early Tuesday on the Eisenhower Expressway on the West Side.

A black 2012 Buick was heading west on I-290 near Western Avenue about 2:15 a.m. when the driver lost control and the car left the expressway, went up a grassy embankment and struck a utility pole head-on, according to Illinois State Police.

The driver who's from Chicago, 42-year-old Courtney Hargrays, was ejected from the car, police said. He was taken to Stroger Hospital in critical condition.

“Courtney is a special guy,” said his uncle Edward Bonner.

Hargrays is the only survivor of the crash that killed three of his friends.

“They were kids that were in the block, they grew up with him and two in the car was his best friends. It's kind of hard to imagine that this happened,” Bonner said.

Hargrays posted a message on his Facebook page three hours before the crash, tagging himself at Bricks Sports Bar and Grill on the city's West Side.

Bonner says his nephew was excited about life. He was a former basketball coach and Chicago Park District employee.

“He's a great man, he's a person who loves children, goes out of his way for children,” Bonner said.

Hargrays had just started a new job working with underprivileged kids and bought a new car hours before the accident, which was the same car he was driving Tuesday morning.

“This is the first time where I really saw a glow in Courtney, especially when he saw that car,” Bonner said.

The front seat passenger, 29-year-old Brittany Williams of Chicago; and one of the back seat passengers, 41-year-old Henry Brooks IV, were pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said. Brooks, who police said was 42, lived in the 200 block of North Kolmar, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

A third passenger, 42-year-old Randy Ross of Chicago, was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he was also pronounced dead, police said.

All outbound lanes of I-290 were closed to traffic in the area for several hours after the crash, but were reopened as of 8:32 a.m., according to police.

Investigators believe alcohol was a factor in the crash, police said.