GOODFIELD — Interstate 74 near Goodfield was reopened early Thursday, one day after a Danville man was killed a fiery collision of two semi-trailer trucks.
Sgt. Tony Halsey of the Illinois State Police said one semi with an empty dump trailer had broken down in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 74 at about 2:25 p.m. Wednesday near mile marker 117, five miles east of Goodfield.
A second semi, with a dry bulk trailer that contained concrete mix, tried to pass the disabled truck but struck it and caught fire, Halsey said.
The impact of the crash and fire resulted in the death of the second semi's driver, Jeffrey Bryant, 48, who was pronounced dead at 4:50 p.m. at the scene, according to Woodford County Coroner Tim Ruestman.
An autopsy was scheduled for Thursday morning.
The driver of the disabled semi was taken to Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Bloomington with what Halsey classified as non life-threatening injuries.
State Police identified the other driver as Ethan S. Stauffer, 29, of LeRoy.
No one else was injured, and no other vehicles were involved in the collision, he said.
By 9 p.m., smoke still wafted from the wrecked and burned remains of the one semi-tractor trailer as a tow-truck crew worked to right the other semi that laid twisted on the side of the road. The cab of the burned truck was nowhere to be seen.
Traffic backed up initially for miles as state police shut down both directions of the interstate from mile post 112 to 125. Traffic was diverted off I-74 and onto U.S. Route 150 at Mitsubishi Motorway for westbound traffic. Eastbound traffic was being diverted at the Goodfield exit onto U.S. Route 150.
The intersection at Goodfield and Route 150 was snarled with traffic that backed up past Congerville and into Carlock. The lights at that intersection were adjusted by officials to better handle the extra traffic.
Both directions of the interstate were reopened about 3 a.m. Thursday, according to the State Police.
Members of the state police and other first-responders were helped by the American Red Cross with water and food as the investigation took hours.
The accident remains under investigation by the state police, the Woodford County Coroner's office and the Congerville Fire Department.