An eight-vehicle crash in Jefferson County ended with only minor injuries Friday.
The pileup on Interstate 57 at 11:48 a.m. involved three semitrailers, a Chevrolet Silverado, Nissan Altima, Honda Odyssey minivan, Jeep Wrangler and a Pontiac Solstice. Of the 15 drivers and passengers, two were taken to the hospital with what police described as minor injuries. All others escaped uninjured.
All eight vehicles were southbound on the highway and were slowed to a near stop or completely stopped, police said, because of a bridge construction project. The driver of a Kenworth semitrailer “failed to perceive the stopped traffic in time,” according to police, and swerved to the right to avoid striking another truck.
But he then struck the Chevrolet, and the truck’s hood flew upward, obstructing the driver’s view. He swerved again and struck the rest of the vehicles in what police described as a “chain-reaction-style crash,” heading down the lane marker between the center and right lanes.
The Jeep and Pontiac were drivable; all others were towed away. The interstate was closed for approximately two and a half hours for crash investigation and cleanup, according to police. Southbound traffic was temporarily diverted off the interstate onto Illinois 15.
The Kenworth driver was Eulalio Alvarez, 61, of Edcouch, Texas, and he was cited with failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, according to Illinois State Police.