Personnel from the Waukegan fire and police departments responded to an accident Wednesday evening at Route 120 and River Road that claimed the life of a North Chicago man. (Joe Shuman / News-Sun)

A North Chicago man was killed in one of many accidents that were described by officials as weather-related Wednesday. The man lost control of his vehicle eastbound on Route 120 near River Road in Waukegan and slid into oncoming traffic.

Authorities identified David Gutierrez-Vasquez, 47, as the man killed when he apparently lost control of his vehicle, crossed the grassy median separating the traffic lanes and was struck by a westbound vehicle, which was in turn struck by a third vehicle that was traveling right behind it, said Cmdr. Joe Florip of the Waukegan Police Department.

"Investigators believe weather played a factor in the accident," he said. "Obviously the ice, water and speed can all be contributing factors in this accident."

Florip added that investigators won’t know until after an autopsy on Friday whether the loss of control was due to something else, such as a medical emergency.

"Investigators found no signs of drugs or alcohol in any of the vehicles," he said.

Police report the driver of the vehicle that struck Gutierrez-Vasquez’s vehicle was treated for minor injuries at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville and released. The driver of the third vehicle was uninjured, Florip said,

Traffic accidents were up in Waukegan during Wednesday’s freezing rain but not remarkably, with eight other collisions reported in the city between 3 p.m. Wednesday and 3 a.m. Thursday, Florip said.

In contrast, Lake County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Christopher Covelli said deputies were chasing collisions throughout unincorporated areas Wednesday.

"We responded to 25 traffic crashes between 4 p.m. (Wednesday) and 10 a.m. (Thursday)," he said. "We also responded to six reports of cars who skidded into a ditch.

"When weather conditions are poor, we urge the public to take extra time driving, slow down, and to pay attention."

The Lake County Division of Transportation advises people to use Lake County Passage to see where accidents have occurred or where roadwork is causing delays in traffic. It also has a feature where a number of intersections have cameras that can be monitored on a computer or cellphone.

The National Weather Service issued a freezing rain advisory for the Chicago region that began late Wednesday afternoon into Thursday morning, with ice accumulation of up to a tenth of an inch reported in some areas.

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