A multi-vehicle accident on Interstate 70 in Effingham County, Illinois, that occurred late Saturday morning had far-reaching consequences. Not only did it claim three lives and send three other people to the hospital, but it also necessitated the closure of all lanes of traffic for several hours. This action essentially trapped motorists who had the misfortune to be in the wrong place at the wrong time in their vehicles on the interstate with temperatures outside in excess of 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Authorities have since charged a 59-year-old truck driver from Michigan with failure to reduce speed to avoid a traffic crash. He was reportedly driving a white tractor-trailer eastbound through a construction zone on I-70 when he allegedly struck the back of a black SUV that had come to a halt in front of him when traffic stopped for an unspecified reason. The force of the collision reportedly propelled the SUV into a black tractor-trailer, which reportedly then struck a fourth vehicle. Though believed to be another tractor-trailer or large truck, the fourth vehicle left the scene after it sustained no damage. The white tractor-trailer came to a halt after striking a concrete dividing wall along the center line.
It is unknown how many occupants the SUV contained altogether, but the crash killed the 63-year-old male driver and two female passengers. An additional two passengers of the SUV, as well as a passenger of the white tractor-trailer, required transportation to the hospital for injuries. Their current conditions are unknown. Authorities affirm that the driver of the black tractor-trailer sustained no injury, and there is no report of any injuries to the driver of the white tractor-trailer.
Driving in a construction zone presents unusual hazards. It is even more important for drivers to remain vigilant about obeying the traffic laws in construction areas for the sake of everyone’s safety. Those who have received injuries in a construction zone accident, and/or one involving a large commercial truck, may find it helpful to contact an attorney.