Officials reported that a seventh fatality had been verified following a huge pileup Monday in Illinois brought on by an unexpected dust storm. According to the Illinois State Police, 37 persons were sent to local hospitals with injuries ranging from mild to critical. The ages of victims range from two to eighty.
According to officials, the collision happened on Interstate 55 in Montgomery County at around 11 a.m. local time. For a 2-mile stretch, there were car accidents on I-55’s north and southbound lanes.
The incident is believed to have included about 72 vehicles, including two semi trucks that caught fire, according to police.
All of the victims who passed away were discovered there. Because what was initially thought to be the remains of one person turned out to be two, the seventh fatality wasn’t found until Tuesday, according to authorities. The “severity of the crash masked the remains,” according to a police bulletin.
According to Illinois State Police, Maj. Ryan Starrick, the extreme wind blowing dirt from farm fields across the highway caused the accident. A swarm of rescue cars and numerous aircraft responded to the collision.
Here is a tweet related to this topic:
LATEST: A seventh person has been confirmed dead after Monday’s massive pileup on I-55 in Illinois, officials say. https://t.co/HE9BlPtOJb
— ABC News (@ABC) May 3, 2023
According to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Officer, Shirley Harper, 88, of Franklin, Wisconsin, was among the victims, who verified the information to ABC News. Shirley Harper was a passenger in a car being driven by her daughter. According to the officials, her daughter is alive and being treated in a hospital.
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Leach, traveling in an RV from Illinois to Texas, told ABC News that she had spent five hours backed up in traffic due to the significant collision.
When I sent videos to [my kids], it almost looked like snow, claimed Karen Leach, who was caught in the storm. And it simply feels as though the world is ending.
According to Starrick, the I-55 section where the collision occurred is anticipated to be closed for at least the rest of the day.
Rep. Nikki Budzinski tweeted, “My team and I are closely following the devastating crash on I-55 as authorities learn more.” “As this situation develops, kindly be safe.”
According to a tweet from the Illinois State Police, the same section of the road was shut down once more on Tuesday “due to high winds and low visibility,” adding that it was done “out of an abundance of caution” and that no accidents had occurred.