Metro-East News

State Police called to 16 rainy-day crashes on region's highways

One of the 16 crashes Illinois State Police responded to on highways Thursday was in the exact spot on Interstate 55 where four people were killed in a eight-vehicle pile up in November.

Troopers were busy Thursday, said Trooper Calvin Dye Jr., spokesman for ISP District 11. With the rainy conditions and slick roads, people were not driving as carefully as they should have been, he said.

For the I-55 crash, this time there were no injuries, but it could have been much worse, Dye said. It was in a construction zone, and traffic was merging to one lane. The driver of a tractor-trailer was merging, and the driver of a passenger vehicle didn't give it enough space, and when the driver went to brake, it spun out of control, struck the back of the semi, crossed over all lanes of traffic and ended up in the ditch.

"It's the same equation in all 16 crashes," Dye said. "They were either going too fast for weather conditions, or they didn't give themselves enough time and space to brake with the roads being wet."

Dye said that even as he and another trooper sat in their SUVs near the crash with their lights on, they saw the potential for six or seven more crashes, where drivers braked too late and stopped inches away from rear-ending someone, their brakes screeching.

Dye said he and other troopers wrote multiple citations, mostly for driving too fast for the weather conditions. None of the crashes, which occurred on Illinois 15, Illinois 13, Interstate 64, Interstate 55 and Interstate 255, resulted in any major injuries.

After those 16 crashes Thursday, State Police were up to 837 crashes for the year on highways and interstates, Dye said. But that's not anything out of the ordinary.

"We're used to it," Dye said. "It's like this every year. Most crashes, even if it's one car and you go off the road, you're probably going to be a ticket, and it'll be a minimum of $120."