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Truck crashes into apartment building near Chicago, spills 150 gallons of diesel

Residents displaced after semi crashes into apartment building in Morris, Illinois
Residents displaced after semi crashes into apartment building in Morris, Illinois 02:42

MORRIS, Ill. (CBS) — A semi-trailer truck plowed into an apartment building in Morris, Illinois, southwest of Chicago Wednesday morning.

Around 9:30 a.m., the driver lost control while heading east on Interstate 80. The truck quickly left the road to the right, past the ditch on the shoulder, and through a small tree line. The truck barely missed one building and then hit the two-story, six-unit apartment building at 1887 E. Anne Ln.

A total of 12 adults and one child live in the building, according to the fire district. It was not known how many were in the building at the time.

"It sounded like the garbage truck hit a bunch of cars," said Chloe Gernanz.

"Like a big rumbling noise," said Walker Peck. 

The driver self-extricated from the truck and was treated on the scene for minor injuries.

The Morris Fire and Ambulance District said one family who lives in the building also suffered minor injuries. A family took a child to the hospital, according to the fire district.

Natural gas, electricity, and other utilities were shut off at the apartment building after the truck plowed into it.  


Neighbors said the truck had a flat tire. 

A spokesperson for STG Logistics, the company that operates the truck, said in a statement:

"First and foremost, our thoughts are with those impacted by the incident at the apartment complex in Morris, Illinois. We are diligently gathering information regarding the circumstances of the accident and to fully cooperate with authorities in their investigative efforts."

The truck had 200 gallons of diesel fuel in its tanks, of which 150 leaked out. A cleanup company was sent to address that issue, the fire department said.

Gernanz and Peck's unit wasn't hit. But it was a different story for Jody Doran and her daughter, Gillian. They were not home when the truck plowed right into their very own living room.

"We're right there on the end, right where the truck apparently collided in," said Jody Doran. "I'm grateful that nobody was seriously hurt, but it's really emotional because everything you have is in there."

The Dorans' cat was missing after the crash.

"I'm just hoping I find my cat. That's like the biggest concern. Anything else can be like replaced. He's just like – he's all that matters. I can get anything else," said Gillian Doran. "I just want to make sure he's OK."

Fortunately, the cat was later found and reunited with the Doran's 

The building was deemed uninhabitable—at least for Wednesday night. On Thursday at noon, inspectors will revisit the occupancy status of the building—as diesel fuel from the truck went into a crawlspace.

People were able to get their belongings from the building late Wednesday. The American Red Cross was on the scene, helping residents find shelter and clothes.

"The idea is to assist everyone that has to be displaced," said Fernanda Kuzuhara of the Red Cross.

The affected residents were grateful.

"We've always donated to the Red Cross," said Jody Doran, "but to see how they actually kick in to help you - I am so grateful for them. You never really know how important they are until you really need them."

Meanwhile, the semi-trailer truck, which was carrying 1,000-pound clothes dryers, was hauled away.  

Illinois State Police were investigating the incident late Wednesday. A spokesperson said its investigation includes the property damage.

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