The 69-year-old driver of a semi truck has been cited after three people were killed in a fiery six-vehicle crash Monday afternoon on Interstate 80 near Ottawa.
About 1:10 p.m., a 2001 Kenworth semi truck carrying gravel struck a 2002 Chrysler Sebring after the semi failed to reduce speed while approaching traffic that was slowed for construction work in the westbound lanes of the expressway near mile marker 93, according to Illinois State Police.
When the Kenworth struck the car, it pushed the Sebring forward and underneath another semi, a 2009 Volvo that was carrying an empty shipping container, police said.
The car and the two semis continued forward and crashed into a 2014 Ford truck hauling tires, which was then forced into a third semi, a 2017 Peterbilt that was carrying bread, police said. The Peterbilt then crashed into a railroad repair truck.
The Kenworth, the Sebring and the Ford all caught fire, police said.
The driver of the Sebring, 26-year-old Darrel E. Scott Jr., and his passenger, 25-year-old Abigail A. Bohstedt, both of Highland, Indiana, were killed in the crash, police said.
The driver of the Ford truck, 34-year-old Octavio Vargas of Warrenville, was also killed, police said.
The driver of the Kenworth, 69-year-old Donald E. Breckenridge, of Lostant, Illinois, was treated for injuries and has since been released, police said. He was cited for failing to reduce speed to avoid a crash.
All lanes of westbound I-80 were closed to traffic for about 9 hours after the crash.