BLOOMINGTON, Illinois — A chain reaction of crashes on Interstate 55 in central Illinois involving dozens of cars and trucks left several people injured and halted traffic for hours because the roadway was littered with damaged vehicles.
Emergency personnel respond to the scene where vehicles were involved in a multi-vehicle accident on northbound Interstate 55 Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, in Bloomington, Ill. The wrecks involved as many as 20 vehicles and blocked the highway in central Illinois. Illinois State Police spokeswoman Monique Bond says nobody was hurt in the Friday accidents that were the result of motorists driving too fast in slippery and snowy conditions. (AP Photo/The Pantagraph, Steve Smedley)
The Pantagraph in Bloomington and WGLT radio report 17 people were taken to area hospitals and one person was critically injured.
The crashes started at about 11 a.m., when several vehicles struck a semi tractor-trailer that had slid off the road. Bloomington Fire Chief Mike Kimmerling says as many as 40 vehicles were badly damaged and dozens more sustained at least some damage. The accidents extended for about 4 miles.
Kimmerling says it is unclear what caused the accidents, but that falling snow may have been a factor.
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