Two semis crash on I-55, closing all lanes for hours
By Brian Stanley firstname.lastname@example.org October 1, 2013 7:38AM
Updated: November 3, 2013 6:18AM
Traffic on Interstate 55 was brought to a standstill Tuesday morning when a semi-truck collided into the rear of a tanker truck and caught fire in the southbound lanes, Illinois State Police said.
The crash happened about 6:20 a.m. south of U.S. 6, where traffic had slowed approaching a construction zone over the Des Plaines River Bridge, state police Master Sgt. Martez Malone said.
Police said neither truck driver was injured, but the crash pushed the tanker into the rear of a 1995 Ford Taurus driven by a 41-year-old Joliet man who was taken to a hospital.
Malone said the truck that caught fire was carrying paper products, and the other was described as a gasoline tanker that was empty.
The driver of the paper truck, Ronald Pirlott, 66, of Green Bay, Wis., was ticketed for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, state police said. They said the tanker driver was a 48-year-old Joliet man.
Traffic in both directions on I-55 was halted while Channahon and Troy firefighters fought the fire. Channahon Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Toepper said “it took a couple hours to have (the fire) put out,” Toepper said.
State police said southbound traffic was detoured to U.S. 6 until the southbound lanes reopened at noon, and the northbound lanes reopened about 10 a.m.
Contributing: Ashlee Rezin,
Susan DeMar Lafferty