I-90 support beam collapse kills 1 worker, injures 3 in Chicago

Updated Apr 15, 2016

One worker is dead and three others injured after a large beam fell from Interstate 90 in the Chicago suburb of Des Plaines early Tuesday morning.

According to a report from WLS TV, Illinois Tollway crews were in the process of removing beams from beneath a section of the highway over Touhy Avenue when the accident occurred.

The four men were working from lifts beneath I-90 to remove the 187-foot-long, 45-toon steel beam, according to a report from the Chicago Tribune. OSHA officials told WLS TV that the collapse occurred while workers were cutting steel bracing between two beams in half around 2:50 a.m. “The load rolled off a pier support and came down on them,” the station reported.

Three of the workers suffered minor injuries in the collapse while 47-year-old Vicente Santoyo was hospitalized in critical condition before being pronounced dead.

The exact cause of the accident isn’t known, though OSHA told the Tribune it classifies the incident as “preventable.” Investigators told the Tribune it appears “a strap or chain supporting the beam may have failed.’

The Illinois Tollway is in the middle of large reconstruction project on I-90. The beam that collapsed, according to the Tribune, was one of four being removed that supported the westbound lanes of I-90.