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Suspect shot himself on I-294 after fleeing police

(SOUTH HOLLAND) A shoplifting suspect in northwest Indiana fatally shot himself after fleeing police and crashing Monday afternoon on I-294 in South Holland.

At 12:13 p.m., a store supervisor at Cabela’s, 7700 Cabela’s Dr. in Hammond, called police and reported a possible shoplifter inside the store, according to Hammond Police Lt. Richard Hoyda.

One officer entered the store and a second went to another location to watch surveillance video of a man who appeared to be taking items and concealing them, according to Hoyda. Both officers waited until the man left the store, then went after him.

The suspect ran away and the officers pursued him, Hoyda said. One of the officers ran past the suspect, who was hiding by some boats outside the store. The man then ran back toward the front entrance of Cabela’s.

One of the officers fired ordered the man to stop several times then fired his Taser, which did not appear to have any effect, Hoyda said. The man pulled out a handgun and fired at the officer, who was not hit.

The same officer tried a second time to hit the man with his Taser, but he ran away and got inside his silver Honda Civic, Hoyda said.

One of the officers chased the Honda north on Indianapolis Boulevard from Cabela’s, Hoyda said. The suspect took a u-turn on Indianpolis Boulevard and got onto westbound I-80/94.

The suspect merged onto I-294 and stopped his car on the ramp to the Lincoln Oasis in South Holland, Hoyda said. The officer who was chasing him got out of his car and saw a puff of powdered smoke inside the Honda.

The suspect shot himself in the head, according to Hoyda and Illinois State Police. He was dead at the scene.

The Cook County medical examiner’s office identified him as 34-year-old Palak P. Desai of the 600 block of Hundley Street in Hoffman Estates. An autopsy was scheduled for Tuesday.

No shots were fired by police officers, according to the statement.

Several items stolen from Cabela’s by the suspect were recovered outside the store by employees, Hoyda said.

The entrance ramp to the Lincoln Oasis remains closed for the investigation.

Illinois State Police and Hammond police are investigating the suicide and Hammond police are investigating the shoplifting incident.

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UPDATE: Police: Person killed in Tri-State semi crash

(WESTERN SPRINGS) A person was killed when a semi truck crashed into a wall early Tuesday on the Tri-State Tollway in west suburban Western Springs, police said.

I-294 Looking South at the Northbound backup after Tuesday's fatal accident
I-294 Looking South at the Northbound backup after Tuesday’s fatal accident


The semi was headed southbound on I-294 at 2:31 a.m. when it hit the median wall just north of 47th Street in Western Springs, according to Illinois State Police.

One person was killed in the crash, but further details were not immediately available, police said. The Cook County medical examiner’s office could not immediately confirm the fatality.

As of 5:45 a.m., the left lane on the southbound side of I-294 remained closed to traffic, according to police. The two left lanes remained closed on the northbound side.

Police: Girl, 14, killed in crash on Tri-State Tollway

(LINCOLNSHIRE) A 14-year-old girl was killed and seven other people were injured in a crash Sunday night on the Tri-State Tollway (I-94) near north suburban Lincolnshire, police said.

About 10:15 p.m., a white 2002 Ford Explorer was traveling eastbound on I-94 near the Half Day Road exit when the SUV blew a tire, lost control and struck the right guardrail, according to Illinois State Police Master Sgt. Jim Knipper.

Three of the SUV’s eight occupants, including the 14-year-old, were ejected from the vehicle, Knipper said.

The girl was then struck by a semi truck and was pronounced dead at the scene, Knipper said.

The seven other people were taken to hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries, Knipper said. The driver of the semi was not injured.

All eastbound lanes were closed to traffic in the area for more than three hours while state police investigated, but were reopened about 2:15 a.m. Monday. No citations have been issued in connection with the crash, Knipper said.

Ramp improvement project coming to Tri-State, Jane Addams interchange near O’Hare

(ROSEMONT) Construction begins Wednesday to repair ramps that are part of the Tri-State Tollway and Jane Addams Memorial Tollway interchange near O’Hare Airport.

The project is part of a $2.5 billion plan to widen and rebuild the Jane Addams (I-90), according to the Illinois Tollway.

The ramps connecting eastbound I-90 to the northbound and southbound Tri-State (I-294) will be reconstructed, as will a ramp connecting eastbound I-90 to O’Hare Airport, the tollway said.

All of the ramps will remain open during construction, but traffic will be shifted starting Wednesday to accommodate work zones, the tollway said.

Work will wrap up by the end of the year. Planned improvements include new concrete pavement, new asphalt shoulders, and new guardrails, lighting and drainage systems, the tollway said.

A 45 mph speed limit will be in place during construction, and drivers would look out for changing traffic patterns, the tollway said.