35 vehicles involved in chain-reaction Kennedy crashes; 7 injured

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Emergency crews respond to a massive pileup on the Kennedy Expressway late Monday near Division. | Network Video Productions

SUN-TIMES MEDIA WIRE - Seven people were taken to the hospital late Monday after 35 vehicles were involved in two separate chain-reaction crashes less than a mile apart on the Kennedy Expressway.

Both crashes, involving a total of 35 vehicles, happened about 10:30 p.m. in the inbound express lanes of Interstate 90/94 between North Avenue and Division Street, according to Illinois State Police.

Seven people were taken to the hospital, while 23 people refused medical attention, said Fire Media Affairs Chief Juan Hernandez. A 39-year-old man was taken in serious-to-critical condition to Northwestern Memorial Hospital; a 28-year-old woman, 40-year-old man, 52-year-old man, and 62-year-old man were all taken in fair-to-serious condition to Rush University Medical Center; and two men, ages 26 and 27, were both taken in fair-to-serious condition to Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center.

Police said none of the injuries were thought to be life-threatening.

Slick road conditions were thought to be the culprit of the pileups, which happened as a lake-effect snow system began pummeling the city. Up to 10 inches of snow could fall in parts of the Chicago area by midday Tuesday.

The express lanes were blocked as a result of the crash, but everything was reopened to traffic shortly after 2 a.m., police said. It was not immediately known whether any citations or charges were filed..