St. Louis Public Radio News
5:02 pm
Fri August 6, 2010

Tractor-trailer crashes in Illinois create traffic nightmare

St. Louis – A series of traffic accidents involving tractor trailers has tied up traffic in the Metro East for most of the day

Around 9:50 Friday morning, a tractor trailer carrying a load of meat struck a median wall on the eastbound Poplar Street Bridge, overturned, and erupted in flames. The driver of that truck escaped without serious injury. The bridge was down to one lane while the Illinois State Police investigated.

Later that morning, a five-vehicle accident shut down a stretch of Interstate 64 westbound between New Baden and Albers.

One person remained hospitalized in fair condition Friday night following that crash, the second chain-reaction accident in a construction zone in two days.

A tractor trailer traveling on westbound Interstate 64 near mile marker 30 could not stop in time for traffic slowing down for construction, said Illinois State Police trooper Mike Link. Other vehicles, including a flatbed truck, plowed into the first truck, which caught fire and ignited the other vehicles.

Drivers need to start paying better attention, Link said.

"When they say construction is four or five miles ahead, that doesn't mean you have four or five miles that you can still go 65 miles an hour. You need to start paying attention to traffic up in front of you, watch for brake lights, watch for both lanes full of traffic," he said.

A second victim was treated at a Metro East hospital and released, and Link said seat belts kept other injuries minor.