COLES COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — A series of crashes on southbound Interstate 57 in Coles County left one person dead and multiple people hurt Wednesday afternoon, Illinois State Police reported.

State Police said it all started around 12:30 p.m. just past the exit to U.S. Route 45. Two truck tractors were involved in the initial crash; one was hauling a semi-trailer and the other was hauling a speed boat. One of the trucks partially ran off the highway, which caused the boat and its trailer to roll over.

Traffic was diverted off the highway at Route 45, but with traffic backed up, a second crash happened at 1:22 p.m. that resulted in a death.

Officials said the crash involved two commercial motor vehicles one mile north of Route 45. The driver and passenger of one vehicle suffered life-threatening injuries and were taken to an area hospital, where the driver later died.

This crash resulted in traffic being diverted off the highway farther north at County Road 1000 North. The original crash scene was later cleared and Route 45 became the reentry point for the highway at 1:45 p.m.

Traffic was still being diverted off the highway at County Road 1000 North when a third crash happened two miles to the north around 6 p.m. State Police said a box truck in the traffic backup failed to slow down and rear-ended a semi-trailer. The box truck driver was airlifted from the scene with serious injuries while the passenger was taken to a local hospital by ambulance.

The closure of the highway was moved north again to Arcola, leaving traffic to travel almost 20 miles on Route 45 before reentering the highway at the original diversion point. The highway reopened past Arcola an hour later at 7 p.m.

I-57 reopened in full three hours later after the last crash scene was cleared.