Image captures the chaotic aftermath of a 90-car pileup on Interstate-55 in Illinois that was prompted by low visibility from a dust storm consuming the region.InternationalIndiaAfricaWASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Illinois State Police have confirmed that six people died as a result of a massive car pileup that was caused by a severe dust storm consuming the region.Officials stated in a Monday release that up to 90 vehicles were involved in the pileup on Interstate 55.
"Approximately 30 commercial motor vehicles and 40 to 60 passenger cars were involved. This includes two truck-tractor semi-trailers that caught fire as a result of the crashes," the release said. "Reports show there are six fatalities, all occurring in the northbound lanes."
The cause of the crashes, the release said, is due to excessive winds blowing dirt from farm fields across the highway, resulting in zero visibility. More than 30 people were transported to the hospital with injuries ranging from minor to life-threatening. The ages of those injured ranges from two-years-old to 80 years old, the release added. The crashes occurred Monday morning within a two-mile stretch of highway in Farmersville, Illinois.Video from the scene offered a peek into the chaotic pileup as first responders rush to provide aid.
Massive pileup on I-55 south of Springfield, Illinois has closed the interstate for nearly 30 miles. Blowing dust off freshly plowed fields led to very low visibility#ilwx
🎥: Nathan Cormier pic.twitter.com/im7QLE8BTp
— Nick Hausen (@NickHausenWx) May 1, 2023
Nathan Cormier, who filmed the aftermath of the pile-up, told US media the scene was that of a “dust bowl.”
"I saw the smoke cloud from a distance and I've driven through them before, you know, you put your hazards on, go slow," Cormier said. "And I moved to the left lane to get away out from behind a semi. And that's when I came across everything else stopped in the road.”
Another driver who was traveling toward St. Louis told US media that “the only thing you could hear after we got hit was crash after crash after crash behind us.”Local readings indicated that wind gusts near I-55 ranged upwards of 35 miles per hour, with Illinois State Police Maj. Ryan Starrick telling reporters that the weather conditions were similar to “whiteout conditions” during a snowstorm.Officials have since shuttered the interstate through Tuesday as a precaution