By Jean-Paul MacDonald, Farms.com
Illinois experienced a tragic incident on Monday when a rare dust storm caused a massive pile-up on Interstate 55. The dust storm limited visibility for farmers and motorists, leading to a pile-up of over 60 vehicles, causing more than 30 injuries, and resulting in six fatalities.
According to the Illinois State Police, the dust storm was caused by winds blowing freshly worked soil from nearby fields, leading to "zero visibility" conditions in the area. The dust storm was so severe that it led to two tractor-trailers and other vehicles catching fire, further limiting visibility due to the smoke.
The accident occurred near Farmersville, a rural section of Illinois, south of Springfield and west of Indianapolis. The crashes involved both passenger cars and commercial vehicles on a two-mile stretch of the highway, causing the highway to be closed in both directions.
The incident highlights the dangers of extreme weather conditions, particularly for drivers on highways. While planting season in central Illinois is usually associated with high winds and dust storms, the severity of the Monday incident underscores the need for drivers to exercise caution during such weather conditions to prevent similar accidents in the future.