A Spring Grove father, who was the sole provider for his family, is being remembered after he was killed earlier this week in a fiery crash just three months after his first child was born.
The Oak Brook Fire Department and Illinois State Police responded around 2:39 p.m. Tuesday to Interstate 88 at the 139.5 mile marker near Oak Brook for a report of a vehicle crash with injuries and fire.
A 911 caller reported there was also a person trapped in one of the vehicles.
Fire crews arrived to find a pickup truck and semi-truck tractor-trailer crash.
Fire officials said the pickup truck sustained heavy front-end damage and had heavy fire coming from the engine compartment.
The fire was spreading to the semi-trailer as well as the passenger compartment of the pickup truck.
Bystanders were attempting to rescue a victim, later identified as Cory W. Vice, 35, of Spring Grove, who was trapped inside the pickup truck.
Firefighters initiated lifesaving measures by attempting to extinguish the fire while extricating Vice, fire officials said.
Vice was extricated from the vehicle and transported by ambulance to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood in critical condition.
A second person was transported to Elmhurst Hospital in Elmhurst with non-life-threatening injuries.
Several bystanders declined transport to the hospital after being exposed to heat and smoke from the fire.
The semi-trailer was transporting a non-hazardous materials commodity, fire officials said.
The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office reported that Vice died in the hospital around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday. Autopsy results are pending.
The man’s wife, Kelsey Vice, described her husband as her “best friend” and an “amazing father.”
She said her husband put up a hard fight before being pronounced dead Wednesday.
“The last memory I have of my handsome man is him lifting our son out of his bassinet to kiss him. I find peace in the fact that I have our little miracle baby who I see so much of his daddy in,” Kelsey Vice said.
Spring Grove resident Michelle Koertgen, who is a family friend, created a GoFundMe account to help raise money for the family.
Koertgen said Kelsey and Corey met 10 years ago at the Chicago Blackhawks parade and Corey had stood by his wife “through thick and thin,” including through his wife’s serious medical issues.
Kelsey gave birth to their first child in July and just over three months later the young family was “struck by a heart-wrenching tragedy,” Koertgen said.
“Cory and Kelsey lived a humble life with Cory being the sole provider. Kelsey’s medical conditions, only some of which are mentioned above, coupled with having a preemie newborn baby prevents her from being able to work a fulltime job,” Koertgen said.
The fundraiser has already collected nearly $9,000 for the family.
A memorial gathering is scheduled for Friday in Crystal Lake.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation by the Illinois State Police.