A photo posted to Sconiers' Facebook page on Jan. 15. | Facebook/Darius Sconiers
SUN-TIMES MEDIA WIRE - A man was seriously injured after suffering a medical emergency and causing a crash in the Loop on Saturday that left another man dead and at least seven others hospitalized.
A 56-year-old Peru man was driving a white 2017 Mercedes sedan east on Congress Parkway near Wells Street when he had a medical emergency about 4:30 p.m. and crashed a “very high rate of speed” into the back of a gray, 2013 Cadillac truck stopped in traffic, Illinois State Police said.
The man’s car continued striking other vehicles stopped in traffic, causing a chain-reaction crash, state police said.
The Cadillac’s driver, Darius C. Sconiers, 35, was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 4:54 p.m., according to state police and the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office. He lived in west suburban Bellwood.
An autopsy Sunday found Sconiers died of blunt force injuries to the chest related to the crash, and his death was ruled an accident, the medical examiner’s office said.
Sconiers graduated from Proviso East High School in Maywood before attending DeVry University in Downers Grove, according to his Facebook page. He went on to work as a chef at reputed Chicago restaurants, including Lawry’s The Prime Rib and Formento’s.
Tiffani Jones, Sconiers’ close friend from Bellwood, said he had recently been working as a private chef for a handful of Chicago Bulls players. She remembers Sconiers as a generous, honest and hardworking man who liked to have fun and spend time with friends.
Jones said she was shocked by Sconiers’ passing, noting that she had spoken to him before he died on Saturday.
The driver of the Mercedes was taken to Stroger Hospital in serious condition, while his passenger, a 57-year-old Peru woman, was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital with injuries that weren’t believed to be life threatening, state police said.
A 52-year-old Wisconsin man who was driving a black 2013 Audi truck was also taken to Stroger, and the driver of a blue Honda truck, a 23-year-old Cicero man, was taken to Rush University Medical Center, state police said. They both suffered injuries that weren’t believed to be life threatening.
Three men who were passengers in a brown Hyundai car – ages 43, 31 and 42 – were taken to Northwestern, state police said. Their injuries were not thought to be life-threatening.
Seven people were initially listed in serious to critical condition after the crash, fire media affairs said. Four were taken to Stroger Hospital, while three others were taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
Two other people were taken to Rush University Medical Center in fair to serious condition, and three more were taken to Stroger in good to fair condition, fire media affairs said.
Eleven people refused treatment at the scene, fire media affairs said.
Traffic on Congress Parkway was shut down until 11:02 p.m. Saturday for a crash investigation, state police said.