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'You Hear The Engines Racing': Residents, City Officials On Curbing Accidents On Chicago's Torrence Avenue

CHICAGO (CBS) -- It's a busy intersection on the far South Side: 130th and Torrence.

CBS 2 found too often there are crashes like the one Monday morning.

CBS 2's Suzanne Le Mignot reports from Hegewisch with what she's uncovered.

Police data showed that there have been about 20 accidents at the intersection since the beginning of the year and the alderwoman for this community said the accident that happened here this morning, was one that did not have to happen.

Chicago police said the driver of a tarp covered Dodge SUV ran a red light while driving northbound on Torrence at 130th Street Monday morning in Hegewisch. The driver of a semi, going east on 130th, hit him. The impact caused the driver of the SUV to spin out at the intersection, where he was hit by another semi. The driver of the SUV died.

"They run through those lights all the time. I don't understand why."

John Lopez has lived in Hegewisch his entire life in a house just one block away from Monday morning's accident scene. Lopez said he often hears the crashes happen while he's sitting in his backyard.

"You hear the engines, racing there, then you hear the lock out, the cars hit. Then about five minutes later, the police arrive," he said.

Lopez said there weren't as many accidents, before the stretch of Torrence and 130th near the Ford plant underwent a major construction project about five years ago. The goal was to make trains, trucks and cars all share the same level and improve traffic flow and decrease delays.

"It's the red lights. They're trying to beat the yellow lights," Lopez said.

Alderwoman Susan Sadlowski Garza (10th) said she's been talking to 4th district police and the Chicago Department of Transportation about putting up red light cameras at this intersection.

If Garza makes the request, CDOT would need to do a study to see if it would be helpful.

"That would be nice. To have one there and to have one by the crosswalk at 130th. They blow by that, all the time," Lopez said.

Garza said police give tickets at the intersection to drivers running the light. The driver of the first semi is in serious condition. The driver of the second semi refused medical treatment.

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