Authorities say a wrong-way driver caused a crash on Route 41 near Gurnee that left both drivers dead and caused one of the cars to catch on fire early Monday morning.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Gurnee Fire Department responded around 4:05 a.m. Monday to Route 41 a half-mile north of Stearns School Road in unincorporated Gurnee.
Lake County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli said dispatchers received a call for a head-on crash with injuries in the northbound lanes.
Sheriff’s deputies arrived and located a Nissan Altima and Ford Edge with major damage.
A preliminary investigation shows the driver of the Nissan, a 32-year-old Grayslake man, was traveling southbound in the northbound lanes of traffic, Covelli said.
The Nissan struck a northbound Ford Edge, driven by a 54-year-old North Chicago man.
The Nissan, which was traveling at a high rate of speed at the time of the crash, caught on fire following the impact, Covelli said.
The driver of the Nissan was pronounced dead at the scene.
The driver of the Ford was transported to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville with critical injuries.
That driver was pronounced dead after arriving at the hospital.
Autopsies are being scheduled by the Lake County Coroner’s Office.
The identities of the two drivers are being withheld until the autopsies are completed and the next of kin are notified.
All northbound lanes of Route 41 from Stearns School Road remain shut down as of Monday morning.
The crash remains under investigation by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Technical Crash Investigation Team.