OAN Geraldyn Berry
UPDATED 4:14 PM – Monday, May 1, 2023
At least 40 to 60 vehicles collided along a busy roadway in Central Illinois on Monday as a result of a dust storm, officials have reported.
“The cause of the crash is due to excessive winds blowing dirt from farm fields across the highway leading to zero visibility,” Illinois State Police said in a press release.
I-55 was shut down in Sangamon and Montgomery counties as a result of the accidents along the highway, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation. Sangamon County is home to Springfield, the state capital. Winds across the region had been blowing between 35 and 45 mph.
At least “40 to 60 passenger cars” were involved in the collisions, according to Illinois State Police Captain Ryan Starrick, and there have been reports of “multiple fatalities” and “more than 30 people being hospitalized.”
According to Starrick, at least two semi-trucks ignited during the collisions. Additionally, twenty commercial vehicles were also in collisions.
“Interstate 55 in southern Sangamon and northern Montgomery counties remains closed in both directions because of numerous crashes caused by a dust storm, which has greatly reduced visibility,” the State Department of Transportation said.
Authorities have encouraged people traveling in the area to “seek alternate routes.”
This is a developing story.
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