A 38-year-old Rolling Meadows man died Saturday when the car he was driving on I-90 in Arlington Heights, was involved in a crash with a school bus carrying college students, police said.
An autopsy for Hai Qiu is scheduled for Sunday. Illinois State Police notified his family in Harris County, Texas, Master Sgt. Edward Petrik said. Also notified was Qiu's employer, for whom he'd been working only a month, he added.
The crash involved a bus carrying 17 German club students from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a four-door Honda driven by Qiu, Petrik said.
It appears that speed and possibly weather conditions contributed to the crash, which occurred about 12:45 p.m. on eastbound I-90 near Arlington Heights Road, Petrik said. Qiu's body was taken to the Cook County medical examiner's office, he said.
A crash reconstruction officer at the scene reported that the Honda entered the tollway's eastbound lane from southbound Arlington Heights Road. Qiu lost control of the vehicle, veered across several lanes and spun into the path of the school bus, Petrik said.
The impact caved in the driver's-side door of the Honda approximately 30 inches, likely killing Qiu instantly, Petrik said.
From the way police believe the driver entered the highway, "we think speed is the big factor here," said Petrik, who added that weather also may have been a factor.
None of the students were injured in the crash, which snarled both directions of tollway traffic for three hours. The students were put onto a charter bus, Petrik said. The car and school bus were towed away.
Emergency crews were kept busy on the tollway Saturday, as another crash took place about 2:56 p.m., just a few hundred feet east of the fatal crash. The second crash involved two cars and two semi-trucks said Petrik, who had no information as to the cause and reported no injuries.
Crash: Officials say speed likely a factor in accident