Joliet Police Investigating Fatal Crash on Route 53

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On February 16, 2024, at 5:37 a.m., Joliet Police officers responded to the southbound lanes of Route 53 north of West Sharp Road for a traffic crash with injuries.

Following a preliminary investigation of the crash, it is believed that a Western Star 4900 semi tractor with trailer, driven by a 62-year-old resident of Manitoba, Canada, was stopped in the curb lane of southbound Route 53, at which time a southbound Chevrolet Cobalt, driven by a 32-year-old male Indiana resident, collided into the rear of the semi truck’s trailer.

It is believed that the semi truck’s hazard lights were activated, and that the semi’s driver had come to a complete stop in the lane of traffic to check his GPS, prior to the crash. The driver of the semi was uninjured.

The Joliet Fire Department responded to the crash, however, the 32-year-old male driver of the Chevrolet Cobalt was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Will County Coroner Laurie H. Summers identified the victim as Robert S. Roach, Jr., a 32-year-old male resident of Munster, IN, who was pronounced deceased at 8:50 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 16, near the 23000 block of S. Chicago St. (Route 53) in Joliet.

An autopsy conducted on Friday, Feb. 16, and preliminary results indicated Roach had multiple injuries due to the motor vehicle collision. The Joliet Police are investigating the incident. The final cause and manner will be determined at a later date pending police, autopsy, and toxicological reports.

The roadway was closed for a significant amount of time while a reconstruction of the crash took place.

This crash remains under investigation by the Joliet Police Department Traffic Unit. Anyone with information or video regarding this crash is encouraged to contact the Traffic Unit at (815)724-3010.


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