SEMI DRIVER CITED IN 8-VEHICLE CRASH ON I-57 THAT SENT TWO TO THE HOSPITAL

JEFFERSON COUNTY — A chain reaction crash Friday involving eight vehicles on Interstate 57 in Jefferson County sent two people to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

Preliminary investigative details indicate all vehicles were south bound on I-57 at mile post 92.

All vehicles except for a 2006 Kenworth semi driven by 61-year-old Eulalio Alvarez, of Texas, were either slowed to a near stop or were completely stopped due to a traffic back up from the bridge construction project located at mile post 89.

Alvarez was in the center of the three lanes. A 2005 Chevrolet Silverado was in the right lane of the three.

The 2006 Kenworth was in the center lane and Alvarez failed to perceive the stopped traffic in time. He swerved to the right avoid striking the rear of the 2015 Freightliner and instead struck the rear of the Chevrolet.

The hood of his semi, which sustained heavy damage in the collision, flew upward and blocked Alvarez’ view.

Disoriented, he then swerved left and struck the right front corner of the 2015 Freightliner. After passing the 2015 Freightliner, the Kenworth continued on, collecting a 2010 Nissan Altima, 2000 Honda Odyssey, 2015 Jeep Wrangler, 2016 Freightliner and 2008 Pontiac Solstice in a chain reaction style crash as it proceeded down the lane marker between the center and right lanes.

The driver of the Nissan, 49-year-old Lavondra D. Smith, of Mississippi, and a passenger in the Honda, 39-year-old Bertha Mungia, of Joliet, Ill., were taken by ambulance to an area hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

All vehicles except for the Jeep and the Pontiac were towed from the scene due to damage.

The roadway was closed for approximately 2.5 hours for crash investigation and scene clean up. During the clean-up, all south bound traffic was diverted off of the interstate at the I57 South bound Exit 95 – Illinois Route 15.

Alvarez was charged with Failure to Reduce Speed to Avoid a Crash.