As I was northbound on I-94 from the Skokie area this afternoon, traffic was flying low. Most of the cars were moving fast (above the speed limit), and some were moving Fast. And then everyone stopped. South of the Dundee Road exit two cars had tangled.
One was on the right shoulder with a crunched right rear and the right rear wheel torn from its mountings. The second was in the ditch on the right, upright, but with the whole left front corner scraped and mashed.
A third car was on the shoulder and the passenger was moving fast to change the right rear tire. And a motorcyclist from Georgia was stopped. She had not been involved but saw it all from where she had stopped to put on her jacket.
The driver of the car with the flat had first stopped against the inside shoulder and then tried to cross at slow speed to the right shoulder. She should have stayed there!
I stopped to offer help and learned there were no injuries. A paramedic had stopped, too. Because of debris in the road the three lanes were merging into the two left lanes. Soon a trooper arrived and I gave her a brief summary and pointed out the culprit. She then approached the drivers of the two damaged cars.
The passenger in the third car got the tire changed, and it appeared the driver was going to leave. I had already written down its license plate, and I walked back to tell that driver that the trooper wanted her to wait. She wasn't happy about it, but she didn't try to drive away.
The driver of a big HELP truck arrived, kicked some of the larger pieces of debris out of the roadway, and then pulled the car from the ditch back up onto the shoulder. To do that, he put a big hook through a spoke of the rear wheel, damaging the hubcap, wheel and brake assembly, but at least he didn't damage the body of the car, which would have happened, had he tried to hook it underneath.
Having just read about the woman who was killed when she got out of her car to help at an accident, I stayed on high alert while helping. If you ever stop to help, stay alert; watch all oncoming traffic and be ready to move, if a car heads toward you.