MISSISSIPPI COUNTY, Mo. – Interstate 57 in Mississippi County reopened to traffic ahead of the Friday morning commute after a 70-car pileup Thursday that killed several people.
According to the Missouri Department of Transportation, I-57 was opened to traffic at 5 a.m.
The Missouri Department of Transportation is urging drivers to use caution while traveling in the area as traffic returns to its normal flow.
Mississippi County Coroner Terry Parker confirmed the five deaths and said a mobile morgue has been set up at a funeral home in Charleston, KFVS-TV reported.
Officials did not have an estimate of how many people were injured.
Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Jeff Kinder said about 50 vehicles were involved, including several semitrailer trucks. He said some of the vehicles caught fire but that the fires were extinguished by about 4 p.m. and officials were beginning to tow vehicles away.
“It will be hours, well into the night, before the highway can be reopened,” Kinder said.
The interstate was closed for about 25 miles in both directions in Mississippi County from the Missouri-Illinois border to Sikeston, Missouri.
PADUCAH, Ky. – A multi-vehicle traffic crash Thursday morning on Interstate 57 near Charleston, Missouri, has both directions blocked.
Early reports indicate this crash involves 70 or more vehicles and was caused by dense fog. As of reporting time, there is a four-hour estimated duration, but that is likely to be extended to eight or more hours.
Law enforcement reported multiple deaths and vehicle fires, included several 18-wheelers, according to KFVS.
They reported that one person was airlifted out and another helicopter was on scene standing by.
KFVS also reported more people were taken to area hospitals, including “one or two” emergency responders, and several people were treated on scene.
U.S. 60 and U.S. 62, which provide alternate routes around this crash site, are already snarled and are expected to remain so for hours.
The Missouri Department of Transportation has posted alternate routes on Twitter.
I-57 is closed in both directions from I-55 to the Illinois state line until further notice due to a multi-vehicle incident.
Other river crossings include:
• I-155 in Caruthersville
• Rte 74 in Cape Girardeau
• I-255, I-64, I-70, I-270 in STL
• I-55 in Memphis, Tennessee pic.twitter.com/jNlfEp95NS
— MoDOT Southeast (@MoDOTSoutheast) March 17, 2022
Anyone heading west into Missouri from Kentucky should consider a detour via the I-155 Mississippi River Bridge at Dyersburg, or a detour through Cape Girardeau, Missouri, to detour westward from there.
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet will share updates from the MoDOT as new information becomes available.
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