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3 dead in Bellwood ambulance crash

Sun-Times file photo

Three men died in a fiery ambulance crash Saturday afternoon in west suburban Bellwood.

At 3:48 p.m., the ambulance veered off the roadway and crashed into a building near the intersection of 28th Avenue and Washington Boulevard, according to Bellwood Mayor Andre D. Harvey and Bellwood police. Witnesses said the driver failed to brake before crashing into the building.

The ambulance caught fire after the crash, causing a fire alarm to go off, Harvey said. Emergency crews responded and put out the fire before taking three people from the ambulance.

The driver, 51-year-old James D. Wesley, was taken to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, where he was pronounced dead at 4:56 p.m., according to Harvey and the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office. He lived in the Marquette Park neighborhood.

An autopsy Monday found Wesley died from multiple blunt force injuries related to the crash, and his death was ruled an accident, the medical examiner’s office said.

The man who was working alongside Wesley, 50-year-old Prentise Williams, was also taken to Loyola, where he was pronounced dead, according to authorities. He lived in the Gresham neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side.

An autopsy Tuesday found Williams died of multiple blunt force injuries from the crash and his death was ruled an accident, the medical examiner’s office said.

A 48-year-old Bellwood man, Larry Marshall, was taken to Elmhurst Hospital, where he died Sunday morning, Harvey and the DuPage County Coroner’s Office said. He was riding in the ambulance as a patient and was returning home from a dialysis appointment when the crash happened.

The crash remains under investigation.