A semi-truck hauling two trailers crashed into a guardrail and burst into flames, killing the driver, identified as Frank R. Jakel, 51, of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, (right) on Interstate 294 near Lake Cook Road on the border of Deerfield and Northbrook on February 27, 2024. | Photo – Left: Submitted to Lake and McHenry County Scanner; Photo – Right: Reinbold Novak Funeral Home

The medical examiner has released the identity of a driver who was ejected and killed after a crash that left his FedEx semi-trailer truck engulfed in flames on Interstate 294 in Deerfield.

The Northbrook Fire Department and Illinois State Police Troop 3 responded around 2:23 a.m. on February 27 to Interstate 294 at mile marker 52.5 in Deerfield for a report of a crash with injuries.

The incident occurred in the northbound lanes on the exit ramp to Lake Cook Road.

An Illinois State Police (ISP) spokesperson said a preliminary investigation showed a single vehicle was involved.

The vehicle, a FedEx truck-tractor double bottom semi-trailer, left the roadway for unknown reasons and struck a guardrail.

A fire started at the front of the vehicle upon impact and quickly engulfed the front of the vehicle.

The driver of the truck was ejected from the vehicle and was transported by ambulance to an area hospital, the state police spokesperson said.

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The driver suffered life-threatening injuries and was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office on Wednesday said the driver was identified as Frank R. Jakel, 51, of Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

Firefighters worked for hours to fully extinguish the fire, which destroyed the semi-truck and one of the trailers.

State police shut down the northbound ramp on Interstate 294 to Lake Cook Road throughout the morning when the incident occurred.

Jakel’s official cause and manner of death remain pending, the medical examiner’s office said.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation by the Illinois State Police.