NEW LENOX – A Lewis University professor was killed in an Interstate 80 car crash east of Interstate 355 shortly after 8 a.m. Wednesday.
Joseph Tomsic, 76, of Munster, Indiana, was the driver of a Nissan Murano that was traveling in the left lane and, for unknown reasons, according to an Illinois State Police news release, crossed over the center lane into the right lane. His car then struck a Freightliner semitractor-trailer.
Traffic was “stop and go” at the time because of a previous crash being handled on the shoulder by police.
Tomsic was taken to Silver Cross Hospital with life-threatening injuries and was pronounced dead at 9:47 a.m.
A final cause and manner of death will be determined after completed police reports and autopsy and toxicological reports from the Will County coroner.
The driver of the Freightliner truck was Jorge Aldaba Esquinca, a 54-year-old resident of Naperville who refused medical treatment.
According to the release, no charges have been filed.
The university released a statement expressing condolences to Tomsic’s family and friends.
“On behalf of Lewis University, we extend our deepest sympathy and prayerful consolation to the family and friends of Joe Tomsic,” the statement said.
“Joe touched the lives of many students over his 17 years of service at Lewis University,” the statement said. “He served as a mentor to his fellow faculty members and an inspirational educator to his students. Joe assisted the university in many ways beyond the classroom, such as serving on a committee addressing the university’s technology.”
According to Lewis University’s website, Tomsic was an assistant professor of management information systems in the College of Business and held a bachelor’s and master’s degree from DePaul University.