S.U.V. flipped in crash on 7th and Elm


Lars Lonnroth, Freelance writer

Tom Ratcliffe was standing on his porch March 4 when he suddenly heard a loud screech emerging from the street. A minivan and an S.U.V. collided in La Grange at the corner of 7th and Elm, a collision that flipped the S.U.V. over onto its back.

“I was standing on the porch, [and] literally just ran directly over to the car” to check on the drivers, Ratcliffe said. “I happened to be putting some Saint Patrick’s Day decorations up on my porch, so it was just sheer chance that I was standing here.”

Immediately after the accident, five neighbors ran out to the car to check on the drivers, both of whom emerged mostly unharmed, Ratcliffe said. Even being one of the first there, once Ratcliffe made it to the scene, the driver of the flipped S.U.V. was already on the phone getting assistance, he said.

From the upstairs of her house, Lizzy Scotty ‘19 heard the ruckus from the street and looked out the window to see the aftermath of the collision. From the moment she heard the crashes, she knew that there had been an accident, but was flabbergasted by the magnitude of the collision.

“I definitely knew a car had crashed, but then I looked out the window and I was in disbelief,” Scotty said. “It was crazy that there was a car flipped over, and [one of the cars] hadn’t even pulled over yet and it had just happened. It was scary, but it’s super lucky that everyone is totally fine.”

Referencing the accounts of her father and some of the neighbors who were first on the scene, Scotty said the “S.U.V. barely flipped over,” but both of the vehicles must’ve still been traveling “pretty fast.”

For Ratcliffe, despite the bewilderment that comes with witnessing such a large collision, the first thing that was going through their minds was the safety of the two drivers.

“You don’t see something like this everyday, so it was quite a shock,” Ratcliffe said. “We just wanted to make sure that everyone O.K. That was the first thing, making sure everyone was alright.”