Central Illinois Pileup

Interstate 39 to Remain Closed for 12 Hours After Winter Storm Causes Pileup of More Than 100 Vehicles

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Illinois State Police say that Interstate 39 between Normal and Minonk will remain closed for approximately 12 hours after multiple crashes involving more than 100 vehicles were reported on the roadway.

According to authorities, the southbound lanes will remain closed throughout the night as crews clean up debris and plow snow from the roadway.

"We are diligently working to ensure motorists are safely escorted from the area to warming centers," ISP said in a statement.

The crash occurred in Woodford County in the community of El Paso. Officials say that all southbound lanes of Interstate 39 were shut down, with traffic diverted off at exit 14.

Several other area highways were experiencing significant issues, including I-74 eastbound near Champaign which was completely blocked for a while after a crash involving several jack-knifed semitrailers, police said.

Interstate 55 was also the scene of multiple crashes between Bloomington and Dwight, according to state police, and Interstates 57 and 80 also had multiple crashes that snarled traffic during the evening commute.

“Numerous crashes and whiteout conditions are making travel extremely dangerous if not impossible,” Master Sgt. Matt McCormick said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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