UPDATE: I-57 closings caused by semis that rolled over, jackknifed

UPDATE: I-57 closings caused by semis that rolled over, jackknifed

UPDATE, 4:50 p.m. Tuesday:

PESOTUM — Two separate accidents involving truck drivers who lost control of their rigs Tuesday morning on Interstate 57 shut down the southbound lanes in Coles County and the northbound lanes in Champaign County. No one was injured.

In the first incident, an Illinois State Police report said at 4:43 a.m., a semitrailer driven by Brian Hang, 32, of Bellingham, Wash., was southbound in the right lane at mile marker 192, near the exit for County Road 1000 N, when Hang lost control of the rig and went into the right ditch. While exiting the ditch, he overcorrected, causing the semi to roll onto its passenger side, blocking both southbound lanes.

Southbound I-57 traffic was rerouted to the off ramp at County Road 1000 N while the scene was cleared. Hang and his passenger were both wearing seat belts; state police cited Hang for improper lane usage.

In the second incident, about 2.5 hours later and 30 miles north, hazardous-materials handlers were called to clean up spilled diesel fuel after a tanker semi jackknifed, shutting down the northbound lanes for several hours.

State police said about 7:15 a.m., the tanker truck was approaching the Illini Prairie rest area at mile marker 221.5, about 2 miles north of Pesotum, when it encountered another semi with oversized trailers that was returning to the highway in slow-moving traffic.

The driver of the tanker semi, William Kercheval, 52, of Sullivan, braked for the slowing traffic, lost control and jackknifed. His rig skidded into the semi that had just entered the highway and ended up blocking both northbound lanes.

While the jackknifed semi's tanker trailer was empty, the fuel tanks attached to the truck were punctured, spilling between 150 and 200 gallons of diesel fuel on the road, police estimated.

Pesotum firefighters were joined by the Champaign Fire Department's hazardous-materials unit to contain the spill, which was later cleaned up by Bodine Environmental Services. I-57 northbound was shut down for several hours while the road was cleared and the spill was cleaned up; traffic was rerouted onto U.S. 45 at Pesotum and back onto northbound I-57 at the Monticello Road exit south of Champaign.

The drivers and passengers in both rigs were all wearing seat belts; Kercheval was ticketed for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

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Original story, published 8:30 a.m.:

MATTOON — Illinois State Police are on the scene of two accidents that have shut down parts of the highway in Champaign and Coles counties.

Police say the first accident blocked off the southbound lanes near mile marker 192, the County Road 1000 N exit, which is about 2 miles north of the Illinois 16 exit near Mattoon. All traffic is being diverted to the southbound off ramp at the County Road 1000 N exit.

The second accident, a crash involving property damage, has blocked off the northbound lanes at mile marker 222, about 2 miles north of the U.S. 45 exit in Pesotum. Police say traffic is being diverted to U.S. 45 and can re-enter the interstate from Monticello Road, and they anticipate the lane closures to last for several hours.

Be sure to use caution and expect delays while traveling in the area. Further details on the accident are not yet available.

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