MATTOON -- A Louisiana truck driver triggered a fatal nine-vehicle accident when he looked down at a map as he approached slowing traffic on an eastern Illinois highway, police said.
Three people were killed and 13 were hospitalized Monday evening when the truck driver crashed into the back of a vehicle near a construction zone, setting off a chain reaction that eventually included nine vehicles on Interstate 57 north of Mattoon, police Capt. Stuart Shaver said.
The people who died were in a sport utility vehicle that caught fire, he said. Their names haven't been released.
Thirteen people were taken to two area hospitals, but information about their conditions wasn't available Tuesday.
The truck driver wasn't injured but was taken to a local hospital for blood and urine tests, state police Sgt. Bill Emery said. His name hasn't been released.
State police were investigating the crash. Part of Interstate 57 was closed until early Tuesday morning.