One dead in crash at 31st and Desplaines

Cops: Victim's vehicle collided with another turning left

December 6th, 2019 10:43 AM

A 22-year-old Berwyn man was killed when his 2007 Ford Escape struck a light pole at the corner of Woodside Road and 31st Street after it collided with another vehicle in the intersection. (Photo courtesy of the Riverside Fire Department)

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By Bob Uphues


A 22-year-old man has died after the vehicle he was driving flipped and struck a light pole on the southwest corner of 31st Street and Woodside Avenue on Dec. 5 at about 9:35 p.m.

The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office has identified the victim at Sean D. Lorenzen, of Berwyn.

Riverside Fire Chief Matthew Buckley, whose department oversaw the extrication and medical response and was assisted by fire personnel from North Riverside, Brookfield Lyons and McCook, said it took firefighters about 30 minutes to remove Lorenzen from his 2007 Ford Escape.

Paramedics transported Lorenzen to Loyola University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 10:27 p.m., according to the medical examiner.

According to Buckley, the intersection was closed to all traffic until about 1:30 a.m. on Dec. 6. North Riverside police, who are handling the crash investigation, said the West Suburban Major Crimes Task Force's Major Crash Unit was called in to assist. That investigation is ongoing.

According to North Riverside Police Commander David Kopka, Lorenzen was traveling southbound on Desplaines Avenue through the intersection at 31st Street, when his vehicle collided with a 2013 Honda Civic turning west onto 31st Street from northbound Woodside Road.

The impact of the crash rolled the Ford Escape onto its passenger side and it slid southwest, with the top of the vehicle striking the light pole. Kopka said the Honda was driven by a 32-year-old Oak Park man. He reportedly was taken to MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn for treatment of minor injuries.

Neither car was carrying any passengers.

More information will be added as it becomes available.

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  • Za'Cora Quinn from Chicago (Facebook Verified)

    Posted: December 9th, 2019 11:38 PM

    Does anybody know who the 32 year old Oak Park man is? Was he drunk? Like omg this is my friend....

  • Anthony Donnamario from North Riverside (Facebook Verified)

    Posted: December 8th, 2019 10:32 AM

    To the family of Mr.Lorenzen, the crash happen outside my window and on behalf of myself and my family. WE are sorry for this tragic and sudden death. Our hearts go out to your family in this holiday season.

  • Deborah Lorenzen from Inverness (Facebook Verified)

    Posted: December 6th, 2019 11:41 PM

    Dear Mr. Moon, my husband is Sean Lorenzen's godfather, as a member of the Lorenzen family, we are deeply offended at the posting of the photographs. The death of Mr. Lorenzen is not to be used as a "learning experience", and we will not find peace from tragedy any time soon.

  • Dan Moon from Riverside (Facebook Verified)

    Posted: December 6th, 2019 9:57 PM

    I disagree with Michelle on this issue, and though I hope those dear to Mr. Lorenzen find peace from this tragedy, the photo display of the heartbreaking consequences he and the driver of the car that turned in front of him, taught us a very serious and sobering lesson on the inherently dangerous nature of the 31st and Woodside intersection. It is a very complex intersection with two cross streets within 50 feet of each other and east-bound traffic from 31st regularly zig-zags at a high speed on green nearly clipping cars proceeding north from the stop sign on Deleplaine & Woodside. Though the article does not state culpability, this awful incident is a lesson to us all to please slow down and proceed with great caution, and drive defensively.

  • Michelle Flanagan Swain from Omaha (Facebook Verified)

    Posted: December 6th, 2019 5:45 PM

    I beg you to take these crash photos down from your site. I cannot imagine being a family member of the victims and having to see these pictures. Please have a heart on this matter and remove them.

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