Illinois State Police have reported that Interstate 55 was finally reopened following two separate collisions that caused fatalities and injuries.
In one incident, witnesses claim a series of vehicles were stopped in a slow-moving construction zone when a semi traveling at an excessive speed struck them from behind, felling them as if in a domino effect. Reports indicate the speeding truck entering the stalled traffic was going faster than the allowed posted speed for a highway work zone.
Eyewitnesses told police a truck driver entered the construction zone at a high rate of speed in the northbound lanes of I-55 near Arsenal Road, in Elwood, during mid-afternoon. The tractor trailer slammed into three vehicles and another tractor-trailer, ending the life of a 43-year-old woman and an 11-year-old child, from Urbana. A 54-year-old female from Coal City were killed, as well as a 48-year-old male from Channahon.
Some of the individuals injured needed to be extricated from their vehicles. One of the victims was airlifted to a local hospital.
The driver of the truck allegedly causing the chain-reaction collision, 51-year-old male from Leesburty, Indiana, was later arrested and charged due to willfully falsifying trucking log books and failing to slow down in a construction zone. He was also subjected to urine testing and drug testing.
Ironically, the same interstate suffered another closure minutes after this one, also involving a tractor trailer rear-ending another big rig, which resulted in injuries to both driers and another fatality.
Illinois has a high number of highway deaths every year due to an automobile or truck accident. If you have been in an accident in which you have been injured, or if you have lost a loved one in an accident, you will suffer life-long consequences and potentially hearbreaking loss. There is help available to guide you along the legal path to recover damages and lend a sympathetic network of support during this tragic time.
Source: NBC Chicago, "5 Killed, Four Injured in Dual I-55 Crashes" Natalie Martinez, Jul. 22, 2014