Dust Storms In Illinois Causes Fatal Car Accidents

May 18, 2017

Dust storms causing poor visibility in central Illinois are being blamed for car accidents that killed two people. Illinois State Police say visibility was poor when a 53-year-old Chatham man was killed when he struck a semitrailer, and another vehicle rear-ended his vehicle, Wednesday afternoon on Interstate 72. The third vehicle's driver was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries.

A 16-year-old Mahomet boy died in a separate accident after crashing into the back of a semitrailer in Douglas County an hour later. Two 17-year-old passengers suffered injuries that weren't life-threatening.

National Weather Service meteorologist Ed Shimon says dust storms are rare in the area, but that near-perfect storm conditions existed Wednesday. Gusting winds hit speeds of 45 mph, blanketing rural interstates and roads with clouds of blinding dust.