Four people were injured, one seriously, in a high-speed rear-end crash late Monday night on Harlem Avenue just south of Madison Street in Oak Park.

According to fire officials, a newer model Hyundai station wagon was speeding north on Harlem when it rear-ended another car near Adams and Harlem. The force sent the front car into the intersection at Madison. The Hyundai swerved across a sidewalk and parkway and slammed into a tree fronting a parking lot.

Officials are unclear as to how fast the Hyundai was traveling at the time of the crash, but debris could be seen strewn across 200 feet on the east lanes of Harlem shortly after the accident.

That debris pattern indicates that the initial collision occurred just north of Monroe. Roughly 100 feet farther north, the Hyundai swerved to the right across a sidewalk and parkway at a 45 degree angle and went over several bushes separating the road from a parking lot. It then struck a 9- or 10-inch thick tree so hard it cracked off the tree’s upper half. There were no skids marks visible on the street by the initial collision scene, only scrap marks on the curb where the Hyundai crossed the sidewalk.

The Hyundai’s passenger sat alert and talking on a curb near the damaged car as emergency personnel worked for at least 20 minutes to extricate the driver from the Hyundai. It was unclear at the time how the passenger left the car after the crash. The driver, officials say, was not wearing a seat belt. Both women were reportedly taken to Loyola for treatment.

Fire officials were unable to determine the condition of the driver prior to press time Tuesday morning. The driver of the Hyundai was not conscious when rescued from her vehicle, a fire official said Monday night.

Oak Park Deputy Fire Chief Mark Puknaitis said that the driver of the other vehicle that was rear-ended was conscious after the accident, “but not communicating well.” A total of four ambulances responded to the scene, two from Oak Park plus units from River Forest and North Riverside.

The accident was the second serious incident within 36 hours in Oak Park. Early Sunday morning a 26-year-old Berkley man was killed on the Eisenhower Expressway after exiting his vehicle following a rollover near East Avenue. The man was then struck by an allegedly drunk driver, who fled the scene, but was apprehended after an anonymous source phoned in the car’s license number.

Join the discussion on social media!