Two wrecks impact I-80 traffic east of the Quad Cities

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Tow truck at scene of overturned semi on I-80 near Princeton 3-12-15 (photo courtesy Bureau County Republican)

Tow truck at scene of overturned semi on I-80 near Princeton 3-12-15 (photo courtesy Bureau County Republican)

Two wrecks involving semi trucks impacted both directions of Interstate 80 east of the Quad Cities in the early morning hours of Thursday, March 12, 2015.

An overturned tractor-trailer blocked the westbound lanes of I-80 near Princeton, Illinois before 6:30 a.m. Initial reports indicated that this wreck also impacted eastbound lanes, but police later said a second crash involving two semis contributed to the lane closures.

The other crash happened at 5:30 a.m. just one mile east of Annawan, according to a statement from the Illinois State Police.  The crash happened when one semi merging onto eastbound I-80 from the Illinois 78 on ramp entered the roadway in front of another semi heading eastbound.  The left rear of the merging semi was struck by the front right of the eastbound semi.

Police said the driver of the semi in back had reached for an object on the floorboard and looked up to see that another semi had entered the roadway. He was cited for failure to reduce speed to avoid a crash.

Significant damage was caused to both trucks, police said. There were no injuries reported at that crash site.

Drivers in both directions who were passing through the area had detours to contend with. Westbound traffic was forced to exit and detour through Princeton, and witnesses said eastbound traffic was forced to exit at Annawan. Highways 6 and 34 were used as the alternate route for eastbound and westbound traffic.

Eastbound traffic reportedly reopened by about 7 a.m.  Westbound lanes remained blocked as of 10:30 a.m., as tow trucks worked to upright the overturned semi.  Motorists reported one lane was open for westbound traffic at 10:45 a.m.

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