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Contest Winner: The Worst I-294 Acid Spill Traffic Stories

We asked readers for their traffic horror stories from the acid spill that jammed I-294 for hours on election day. Here are some of the best worst stories we heard.

When , Southland residents were stuck in on the highway for hours with crying kids, angry motorists and, according to one witness, a woman who just started walking home.

for a shot at a Patch swag bag full of goodies. Here are a few of our favorites:

On the Oak Lawn Patch Facebook page, Carol Ellis Sheahan shared a story that would be No. 1 with a bullet, if it hadn't happened to a friend of hers.

Carol Ellis Sheahan My friend was trapped on 294 for 5.5 hours with a 7yr old, 6yr old and a one-year old. No food, no "potty", almost out of gas, etc. She said it was just awful!

Carol, tell your friend to e-mail pauld@patch.com if she wants a prize. We can't give her the win for this one since she didn't enter herself, but the "potty" issue alone means we'll find something for her. That sounds awful.

Christina Pender got stuck less than a mile away from her exit.

You want a horror story I'll give you a horror story! I was coming home from school (Lewis University) and I left at 2 o clock. Normally it takes me about 30-45 minutes to get to Oak Lawn by taking 55 to 294. What I thought would be a normal typical trip turned into a horrible nightmare! I got to a little bit before the toll on 294 and was at a halt! Slowly I mean VERY VERY slowly moving. It took me 3 and a half hours to get from the sign that says Hickory Hills This Exit and Oak Lawn Next Exit! 3 and half hours!! And I was less than a mile away!!! It was ridiculous. Everybody was frustrated there were cars driving on the shoulders complete chaos. Let's just say by the time I got home (in Oak Lawn) it was 6:30 and I was not a happy camper. All of this just to go VOTE! Oh, and they did a terrible way of directing all of the traffic to get off at 95th. They could of at least put the construction arrows up before the tollway!

Reader Jason Akai had an idea that appeals to the conspiracy theorist in us all

Oh man...It took me 3+ hrs. I got to Ogden before I realized what was happening. It took me 30 minutes to exit at 75th street, then I turned away from the traffic pool to get some ground only to run right back into it at LaGrange. Got off at 83, more traffic, then finally got to 119th and wormed my way up to 135th and Harlem. phew... Should we blame a political party for this? It kept me from getting home to vote. Let's pick someone to blame. lol!

But the winner is the Lewis family, whose ordeal lasted a total of five hours and involved two cars, only one of which had gas.

My husband works in Bollingbrook. He left work at 2:30pm. He was stuck 294 for 3 hours and his car ran out of gas. My brother-in-law and I had to go get him. It took us 2 hrs to get to him. So he was on 294 for a total of 5 hours. We finally got home at 8pm. He said people were acting crazy. Honking, swearing, starting fights, etc. He said one lady just left her car and started to walk. There had to have been at least 10 cars broken down between 75th St and 95th St.

Congrats, Katie Lewis, you win the prize for worst story. We'll get you your swag bag full of Patch goodies.

Think you can top that? Sign up for a Patch user account to share your own traffic nightmare tales.

Glen Kato March 24, 2012 at 02:18 PM
I'm so glad that I'm not on I294 as much as I used to be.

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