MONTGOMERY COUNTY - Divernon City Hall is being used as a reunification post for families involved in a massive traffic crash that occurred late this morning on Interstate 55. The accident was at 10:55 a.m. on Monday, May 1, on Interstate 55 near Milepost 76, north of Farmersville in Montgomery County.

Illinois State Police has issued a traffic advisory and urges motorists to stay away from the area.

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Many vehicles, including tractor-trailer vehicles, were involved in the crash.


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"Preliminary information indicates the following occurred: ISP Troops 6 and 8 responded to the above area for multiple crashes with injuries. Interstate 55 is currently shut down in both directions from milepost 63 to milepost 80. Visibility in the area is reported to be low due to blowing dust. Traffic is urged to seek alternate routes.

"At 10:55 a.m. there was a crash on northbound Interstate 55 at Milepost 76. At the same time, there were numerous crashes on southbound Interstate 55 at Milepost 76. Approximately 20 commercial motor vehicles and 40 to 60 passenger cars were involved. This includes two truck-tractor semi-trailers that caught fire as a result of the crashes.

"At this time, we have reports of more than 30 people being transported to the hospital and multiple fatalities. The cause of the crash is due to excessive winds blowing dirt from farm fields across the highway leading to zero visibility.

"This information is still preliminary and the ISP continues to investigate this crash. We will have more information at our next briefing at 4:30 p.m."

ISP closed by saying: "Traffic is urged to seek alternate routes. This investigation is in its infancy and there is no further information at this time. Once more information is available, we’ll make sure to include you."

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