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Ill. Trooper Involved in Crash Caused by Smoke

PEORIA - Eight people, including a state trooper, were injured in a multi-vehicle accident Sunday afternoon near Peoria as the result of a traffic jam caused by smoke from a nearby RV fire.

The accident involving two semitrailer trucks and three cars occurred about 2 p.m. at mile marker 77 along Interstate 74. Illinois State Police said the trooper was treated and released from OSF Saint Francis Medical Center after he helped extinguish flames in one of the semi cabs.

Condition reports were not available for the two semi drivers or the car occupants. The injured were from South Dakota, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kewanee and Pennsylvania.

Police provided the following summary:

Troopers had responded to an RV fire on westbound I-74 and smoke drifted into eastbound lanes, causing traffic congestion. A semi hauling a load of meat ran into the rear of a truck hauling steel, and that truck ran into three passenger cars.

The cab of the first semi caught fire and the driver was trapped. Two troopers on the scene of the RV fire got the semi doors open and extinguished the flames. Rescue crews extricated the driver.

That driver was issued tickets for reckless driving, following too closely and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

Eastbound lanes were closed for several hours.