By Rachel Terry
Advocate News Staff
Blackout conditions caused by high winds blowing loose topsoil caused a massive pileup on Interstate 55 Monday morning, shortly before 11 a.m.
Preliminary information suggests that at 10:55 a.m., a crash occurred on northbound I-55 at milepost 76. At the same time, multiple crashes occurred on southbound I-55 at milepost 76. The accidents occurred within a two-mile stretch.
The number of fatalities increased from an initial report of six to seven. ISP reports that the severity of the crash masked the remains and what was previously thought to be the remains of one person was two. All fatalities occurred in the northbound lanes. ISP is working with the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office to confirm the identity of the seven deceased individuals and further information will be released once identification is complete and proper notifications have been made. The coroner had previously confirmed the identity of one victim as 88-year-old Shirley Harper of Franklin, Wisconsin.