Illinois State Police

Interstate 39 Pile-up That Included Dozens of Vehicles Will Keep Highway Closed Well Into Friday

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Illinois State Police say that at least two dozen vehicles were directly involved in a series of crashes on Interstate 39 on Thursday, with clean-up expected well into Friday.

The crash, which occurred at milepost 9 near El Paso during the height of a storm that dumped six or more inches of snow across the area, involved at least 19 semi trucks and nine passenger vehicles, according to police.

Numerous other vehicles slid off the road to avoid crashes, but were not damaged, according to authorities.

State police say that several of the semis spilled their loads on and around the roadway.

Miraculously, no injuries were reported among the motorists that were involved in the crashes.

Illinois State Police urged motorists to stay off roads Thursday after as much as 4 inches (10.16 centimeters) of wind-blown snow led to whiteout conditions and multiple pileups, including one in Woodford County that police say may have involved more than 100 vehicles.

All individuals who were involved in the crash were taken to area warming centers within three hours of the incidents.

All lanes of the interstate between mileposts 5 and 22 will remain closed for an “extended period of time,” including most of the day Friday.

At least a dozen tow trucks are currently working to remove vehicles from the highway, and snow plows will need to clear the roadway before traffic can resume, police said.

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