JEFFERSON COUNTY — A two tractor-trailer crash spilled tomatoes across Interstate 57 Monday morning near Ina and Bonnie causing northbound traffic to be backed up for hours.
Illinois State Police reports indicate that a Kenworth Tractor Trailer driven by 32-year-old Alejandro Echavarria Escamilla of Hildago, Texas, was northbound at milepost 85 in the right lane. Escamilla drove onto the right shoulder and struck an International Tractor Trailer which had been parked due to mechanical issues.
Escamilla continued traveling northbound and struck a guardrail before overturning and coming to final rest in the right ditch.
Escamilla was transported by ambulance to a local hospital before being transferred to a regional medical facility with major injuries. A passenger in the International semi, 52-year-old Paul Sierant of Monona, Wisc., was uninjured. Escamilla was cited for improperly driving on the shoulder.
The two semis were seriously damaged in the crash that occurred around 10:30 a.m. and by 11:30 a.m. traffic was backed up almost four miles. A large debris field that included tomatoes, oil, gravel and pieces of the two semis resulted in the right lane of northbound traffic being closed for cleanup until approximately 7:00 p.m.