5 dead in wrecks on I-55 near Elwood

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The driver of a semi-truck that crashed into three vehicles, killing four women, Monday afternoon on I-55 may have been speeding in a construction zone when it slammed into the three vehicles which were stopped in traffic, Illinois state police said this evening. The driver, whose identity has not been released, is undergoing mandatory blood and urine testing for drugs and alcohol, said state police district commander Randy Ness in a news conference Monday night.

Four women in the three cars were killed in the crash on northbound I-55 south of Arsenal Road near Elwood, but their identities were not released Monday night.

In photographs of the crash, some of the vehicles involved are crushed beyond recognition. The three vehicles were stopped in traffic, less than a mile to the south of where the interstate’s two lanes merge to one in a construction zone, police said.

The crash is one of two fatal accidents that happened between 2:17 p.m. and 2:33 p.m. Monday on I-55, Ness said.

In the second, one semi rear-ended another semi on the interstate’s southbound lanes at U.S Route 6, about three miles north of the accident near Arsenal Road. Two truck drivers were taken to hospitals but one of them has died, Ness said.

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