Four Dead in Bridgeview Head-On Collision

Victims were from Palos Hills, Worth and Chicago. Witness tells CBS-2 Chicago that Camaro was traveling at speeds up to 100 mph.

Cmdr. Peter Kokkinis briefs news media on fatal 2-car collision in Bridgeview, IL, July 4, 2014.
Cmdr. Peter Kokkinis briefs news media on fatal 2-car collision in Bridgeview, IL, July 4, 2014.

A horrific two-vehicle accident in Bridgeview disrupted Fourth of July festivities late Friday afternoon that claimed the lives of four people.

Watch the video of the press briefing. 

The accident occurred around 5:25 p.m. when a 2010 Camaro and a 2001 Dodge Dakota truck crashed head on in the 8200 block of Harlem across the street from the Hawk Chevrolet car dealership.

Four people were pronounced dead on the scene, including three men and a 52-year-old woman. The victims were identified as Mustafa Alkhatib, 24, of Palos Hills, and Aiman Salem, 21, of Worth; Hector Gonzalez, 48, and Maria Gonzalez, 52. Both were from Chicago, the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office said.

Another person was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Hospital in Oak Lawn with non-life-threatening injuries.

Bridgeview Police Cmdr. Peter Kokkinis said the Camaro was traveling northbound on Harlem when the collision happened. He would not comment on which vehicle caused the crash.

At least one witness told CBS 2 Chicago that the Camero was driving at speeds up to 100 mph northbound on Harlem, and was weaving in and out of traffic when it lost control and crashed into the Dodge truck head on.  

Harlem Avenue was shut down between 81st Street and 82nd Place for five hours into Friday evening as investigators reconstructed the scene. Both vehicles were mangled beyond recognition.

Officials removed two bodies from the street around 6:30 p.m. and placed both into ambulances. All four victims were brought to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Chuck Mills, of Burbank, who lives about 100 feet from the accident scene, said a sound like something hitting a wall.

“The truck completely buckled,” Mills said. “The Camaro’s headlight flew about 100 feet. It was a wide debris field.”

Several chairs flew out of the truck and landed on the grass in front of the Hawk Chevrolet dealership on Harlem Avenue, and the street was littered with car debris.

Another Burbank resident, who gave her name as Barb, said she was in her house when she heard a loud screeching.

“I heard a screech and then a bang,” she said. “At first I thought it was Fourth of July fireworks and then I started hearing sirens.”

A crowd of people, some of them family members of the deceased, were held back by police.

Patch will update this story when more information becomes available.


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