HIGHLAND — A Griffith man was taken to a Cook County hospital in critical condition Monday after a two-vehicle crash on U.S. 41. 

Police said the crash happened about 1:48 p.m. in the 9400 block of U.S. 41 in Highland, according to police Cmdr. John Banasiak. 

A preliminary investigation shows the first driver — a 55-year-old man from Los Angeles — was northbound on U.S. 41 in the outside lane when a Griffith driver attempted to make a left turn into the Easy Clean Car Wash, 9425 Indianapolis Blvd.

The first driver, unable to avoid the collision, struck the second driver's passenger side. The Griffith man in the second car had to extricated by Highland fire crews, Banasiak said. 

He was first taken to Munster Community Hospital. He was then transported to Methodist Hospitals Northlake Campus in Gary and then to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Illinois in critical condition with mid-body injuries, Banasiak said. 

The second driver from Los Angeles was taken to Munster Community Hospital with minor aches and pains as a precaution, police said. 

A preliminary investigation shows the northbound driver from Los Angeles had the right-of-way, but an official cause is under investigation, he said. 

The Highland Police Department is leading the investigation. The Lake County Sheriff's Accident Reconstruction Team assisted. 

Additional information, including the victims' names, were not immediately available Monday. 

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Public safety reporter

Lauren covers breaking news, crime and courts for The Times. She previously worked at The Herald-News in Joliet covering government, public policy, and the region’s heroin epidemic. She holds a master’s degree in Public Affairs Reporting.