The crash happened about 1:30 a.m. on I-55 near Illinois Route 126, police said.
The 25-year-old man, whose name was not being released, died after being airlifted to Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, police said.
The crash began when a 2006 Mazda 6 lost control and hit the median wall, becoming disabled in the left lane, with no lights on, according to a State Police news release. The driver of a 2002 Pontiac Gran Prix stopped ahead of the Mazda to try to check on the Mazda driver, and a 2005 Sterling semi-tractor trailer truck traveling in the left lane hit the Mazda and then the Pontiac, police said.
No citations have been issued, and the investigation is continuing, but the crash is believed to be alcohol-related and also involved improper lane use, a state trooper said this afternoon.
Authorities temporarily stopped traffic in both directions, but the expressway reopened shortly after 3 a.m.
Police continue to investigate the crash.