At least two people are dead and several others wounded in an eight-vehicle crash that closed Interstate 55 on Tuesday night.
Illinois State Police confirmed that eight vehicles were involved in the crash, which occurred at about 6:15 p.m. on I-55’s southbound side at mile post 27, just south of Hamel. Trooper Calvin Dye Jr. said there are 12 people with injuries, several of whom are in critical condition, and two confirmed fatalities.
“This is one of the worst crashes some of us have ever seen,” Dye said.
Witnesses said a driver of a semi-truck started “crashing into other vehicles at highway speed,” Dye said. The truck crashed into a total of seven other vehicles. The driver of the truck was not seriously injured.
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The two people who had died immediately were just being extracted from the cars at about 9:15 p.m. Tuesday — three hours after the crash. Those who were injured were transported to various hospitals in the metro-east and St. Louis area.
Several of the cars involved in the crash were totaled, Dye said.
The interstate was closed as of 8 p.m., and police advised that it would remain closed for several hours while the investigation continues. Traffic was being diverted at Illinois Route 140.