Breaking news to begin our workweek: a domino effect of big rig crashes on a single stretch of Illinois highway. Bright and early Monday morning, Illinois State Police were reporting three separate crashes, all involving commercial trucks, along Interstate 70 near Highland, Illinois.
Two people burned to death at one accident scene. Traffic diverted because the freeway was impassable, going in either direction.
Semi Truck Wreck No. 1 Happens Around 7 am Early on Monday Morning
Just as many commuters were hitting the roads to drop kids off at school, or to grab a fast-food breakfast and coffee on the way into work, a tractor-trailer crashed on Interstate 70 and its entire load of food fell upon the asphalt. The truck driver was taken to the hospital; there were no other injuries.
Big Rig Crash No. 2 Triggered by the First Wreck
Since the roadway was blocked by the fallen food cargo, Interstate 70 traffic was forced to a standstill until I-70 could be cleared. Around 2 miles away, in this frustration, three semi trucks and a pick up truck crashed in the westbound lanes. Sadly, one of the big rigs burst into flames, and two of the truckers died in the truck fire.
Tractor-Trailer Truck Accident No. 3 Follows Shortly
Across the roadway, and near to the scene of the flaming big rig accident, a motorcycle crashed into a semi truck. The motorcycle rear-ended the tractor-trailer: however, amazingly, no one was seriously injured in this wreck. The truck driver was not hurt; the motorcyclist suffered only minor injury.
That is FIVE big rigs in three wrecks on I-70 within a few hours’ time. What’s Being Done?
It’s well known that Interstate 70 is one of main big rig roads in this country, rivaling I -80/94 through Northwest Indiana just south of Chicago: I-70 carries a huge amount of truck traffic through Illinois and Indiana, and beyond.
Last year, Missouri was pondering creating 200 miles of I-70 as “truck only” traffic – moving the big rigs into separate lanes, as well as giving them their own interchanges and bridges. However, the Missouri Department of Transportation did not get much support for the plan and it’s come to naught.
Perhaps Illinois and Indiana should consider a similar plan?