At least one person has sustained a critical injury in the mass accident on Bloomington's west side. most of the 17 people taken to area hospitals did not receive life threatening injuries from the chain reaction crash involving 50 to 60 vehicles. But, a spokesman for Advocate BroMenn Healthcare says one person was taken into surgery after a lacerated spleen was diagnosed. The west side mass accident on I 55 at midday also slowed rush hour traffic on Veterans Parkway and on Main Street as motorists took alternate routes. State police say traffic has begun moving again slowly in the northbound lanes of I 55 on the west side of the twin cities just south of the Market Street Interchange. 30 to 40 vehicles were badly damaged in the pileup and dozens more sustained fender bender levels of damage according to Bloomington Fire Chief Mike Kimmerling.
At one point the northbound lanes of I-55 just south of the Market street interchange closed Kimmerling says nearly every fire department in the county responded.
The mishap began as several vehicles hit a semi tractor-trailer that slid off the road. Kimmerling says emergency personnel had to physically walk through the clutter of damaged cars to check on the injured and emergency units had to approach in the southbound lanes because of the lane closures northbound.
Area hospitals say they called a "triage alert" when the scope of the incident became clear. That is a preliminary step to calling a more serious mobilization of emergency room workers. It alerts off duty personnel and staff in other areas of the medical centers that extra help may be required. Advocate BroMenn Medical Center Spokesman Eric Alvin says as it turned out, the spacing of transportion of the injured did not requre the extra step to be taken. Road Conditions abruptly worsened this morning. Snow began to fall quickly in the region as a system moved further north than forecasters initially predicted.
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