Two people died in a crash that shut down parts of Interstate-70 West on Saturday, authorities said.
The fatalities came in a collision with two semi-trailers. Traffic was slowed as vehicles were diverted off the interstate on the Martinsville exit. Khicha Gogoladze, 51, Brooklyn, New York, was headed into the slowed traffic in a 2013 Volvo Truck-Tractor pulling a FedEx double trailer. Ahead was a 2007 Freightliner truck-tractor pulling a single trailer driven by James M. Weaver, 49, Springfield, Missouri.
Gogoladze "failed to slow down and struck the rear of the trailer" about 3:55 p.m., according to Illinois State Police.
The damage crumpled the cab of the Volvo, killing Gogoladze and the sole passenger, Ivan Koudla, 60, Glens Falls, N.Y.
The damage caused the small cardboard boxes in the lead trailer to spill out across the roadway and into the median of the interstate.
Firefighters doused some of the boxes, but focused on the second vehicle. An attempt to cut into the truck was stopped, apparently as a fire spread in the tractor section of the vehicle, spreading into the first trailer. Firefighters sprayed water in from the rear and cut into the roof of the trailer.
The fire would grow to engulf the vehicle, according to state police.
Traffic was completely stopped, causing emergency vehicles to weave through the eastbound traffic, often driving on the shoulder, or driving west from Martinsville.
Its location and severity caused firefighters to deploy the large tank to allow tanker trucks to deposit water.
The road was still closed at 11 p.m. Saturday, opening some time later.
Another crash on I-70 was caused by traffic slowed by an accident, according to state police.
Brian Mesnard, 39, of Noble, was driving a 2014 Chevrolet Silverado behind a 2011 Freightliner truck-tractor with a semi-trailer.
Mesnard "failed to slow down and struck the rear end of the semi-trailer" at 3:50 p.m. according to the report.
Mesnard was transported to Union Hospital in Terre Haute.