Caitlin Tadlock

Two crashes ended in two deaths this morning on westbound interstate 70 near Highland, Illinois. The first accident happened when a tractor trailer hit a guardrail and dumped a load of food it was carrying at mile marker 27 around 6:50 a.m.

The accident caused the westbound lanes of the interstate to shut down immediately. Traffic was backed up two miles when Jason Scott, a tractor trailer driver, said he tapped the breaks at mile marker 29 for the slow down in front of him. Behind him, he watched two more tractor trailers collide and explode, in what he called, a fireball. The tractor trailers hit a pick-up truck in front of them and then Scott's vehicle was hit from behind.

Scott got out to see if he could be of any help with the crash but claimed one of the tractor trailers was engulfed in flames and the tires were exploding. The Illinois State Police said both of the victims who died were in the tractor trailer that caught on fire. Two other people had minor injuries from the accident. The driver of the overturned tractor trailer with the dumped food, was taken to an area hospital with minor injuries.

Another crash took place on the eastbound lanes of I-70 involving a motorcycle hitting the back of a tractor trailer. The motorcycle driver had minor injuries.

Westbound traffic on I-70 will be closed for several hours today and eastbound traffic has one lane closed. Westbound traffic is currently being diverted off of the Pierron exit. Highland, IL is located about forty minutes from St. Louis, MO.