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Pileup, slide-offs of more than 100 vehicles closes I-39 in central Illinois

A sign along Illinois State Road 24 in El Paso in July 2018 shows directions onto I-39 and U.S. 51. (Photo Provided/Google Street View)

EL PASO, Illinois (WISH) — A pileup and slide-offs of more than a 100 vehicles happened Thursday afternoon along a rural stretch of Interstate 39 during a strong snowstorm, Illinois State Police say.

The pileup and slide-offs happened shortly before 3:15 p.m. CST Thursday about halfway between Normal and El Paso, police said in a news release. No one was injured.

By late Thursday night, state police had concluded the crash involved 19 commercial motor vehicles and nine passenger vehicles, and numerous other vehicles had slid off the interstate but were not damaged. Several commercial vehicles lost their loads.

Twelve tow trucks were called to help, police said.

Hours after the crash, police began to get motorists to warming centers, completing their work by 6:35 p.m. CST Thursday. The temperature at 9 p.m. CST Thursday hovered around 20 degrees.

I-39 northbound reopened shortly before noon CST Friday, and southbound lanes reopened about 1:30 p.m. CST Friday.

Hours before the crash, police on social media warned of “high rates of snowfall and blizzard like conditions” and “poor visibility and hazardous travel conditions” for central Illinois through Thursday night.