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40+ crashes lead to 'multiple fatalities’ on Illinois interstate

Posted at 4:48 PM, May 01, 2023

DIVERNON, Ill. (AP) — A windstorm in south-central Illinois led to numerous crashes and “multiple fatalities” Monday on Interstate 55, police said.

The crashes occurred late Monday morning amid windblown dust and involved 40 to 60 passenger cars and multiple tractor-trailers, Illinois State Police Maj. Ryan Starrick said. The highway was shut down in both directions in Montgomery County, 75 miles (120.7 kilometers) north of St. Louis.

More than 30 people were transported to hospitals with injuries, Starrick said. The crashes occurred in both the southbound and the northbound lanes.

Starrick said there were “multiple fatalities” but did give an exact number, saying that would be released later in the day.

He said that said I-55 would be closed until late morning or early afternoon Tuesday.

“Visibility in the area is reported to be low due to blowing dust,” Illinois State Police said earlier in a statement. “Traffic is urged to seek alternate routes. This investigation is in its infancy and there is no further information at this time.”

The Auburn Travel Center in Divernon was established as a reunification spot for travelers.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email newstips@wtvr.com to send a tip.

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