Driver dead following collision at Dempster and Harlem in Niles

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Two people were hospitalized following a collision in Morton Grove Friday. | NVP News  

The driver of a Chevy Tahoe died of his injuries following a collision on Dempster Street at Harlem Avenue in northwest suburban Niles Friday afternoon.

John J. Grygorcewicz, 55, of Niles was driving the 2011 Tahoe at a high rate of speed about 2:12 p.m. eastbound in the 7200 block of Dempster, according to Robert Tornabene of the Niles Police Department.

Grygorcewicz appeared to suffer a medical emergency when his Tahoe struck a curb and then rear-ended a tractor-trailer in the middle lane. Grygorcewicz’s Tahoe then struck a minivan at a red light at Harlem, pushing it forward and causing it to strike a Mazda sedan and a Toyota SUV, police said.

Grygorcewicz was extricated from the vehicle and taken to Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge where he was pronounced dead at 3:05 p.m., according to police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

The drivers of the other four vehicles did not report any injuries, police said.

Juan Brambila, the driver of the tractor-trailer, said he felt the black vehicle slam into his trailer and push it forward. He then tried to help get Grygorcewicz out of his Tahoe with a crowbar. Another witness, Craig Scaffer, said he heard the crash and then saw the Tahoe, which had significant front-end damage. He said he saw paramedics take an unconscious man out of the vehicle.

An investigation into the crash is ongoing, police said. The intersection was closed for several hours Friday for the investigation.