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UPDATED: Multiple injuries reported after two crashes occur on I-57 on Tuesday

UPDATE: Truck driver from Arkansas cited for DUI after 5 vehicle crash

State troopers arrested and charged a 41-year old man from Arkansas with two counts of aggravated driving under the influence following a five-car crash on I-57 on Tuesday afternoon. Authorities say he was driving northbound on the highway in his semi-trailer truck when he rear-ended three other vehicles and hit the trailer of another truck that were stopped on the highway due to a stalled vehicle.

The driver admitted to smoking marijuana and snorting crushed pills before the collision. His record shows a prior conviction for driving under the influence in 1998 in Joplin, Missouri. State’s attorney Julia Rietz says that he has been charged with misdemeanor DUI, but her office is looking into the facts to determine if the charges should be upgraded to a felony.

Three victims were taken to Carle Foundation Hospital for treatment following the collision. It has been reported that one person suffered broken vertebrae and needed immediate surgery.

For more information on these new developments, read The News-Gazette story.

Previously Reported:

Several people were hurt following two separate collisions on I-57 near Pesotum on Tuesday afternoon. Authorities say the first collision happened at 1:56 p.m. and five vehicles were involved. The second crash, a little bit further south, involved three vehicles. It is not clear at this time how many people were injured or whether police issued any tickets at the scene. As a result of these collisions, the northbound lanes of I-57 were closed for about four hours and the southbound lanes of the highway were closed for approximately two hours afterward.

For more information, read The News-Gazette story. Be sure to check back here for updates as well.