Two from Crystal Lake among the seven killed in massive I-55 crash

Two people from Crystal Lake were among the names of five people killed in the 72-vehicle crash May 1 in downstate Montgomery County, Illinois State Police said Saturday.

Joseph Bates, 73, and Donna Bates, 71, were among the seven people killed in the massive pileup in both northbound and southbound Interstate 55 north of Farmersville at around 10:55 a.m. Monday.

The cause of the crash was high winds blowing dirt from farm fields across the highway, leading to zero visibility, Illinois State Police said. A total of 72 vehicles were known to be involved in the crash with 37 people transported to area hospitals.

Police also released the names of three other people killed in the crash: Michael Zinchuk, 55, of Champaign; Amy Zinchuk, 54, of Champaign; and Earl LeGrand, 64, of Florissant, Missouri.

Illinois State Policed previously released the name of another fatality, Shirley Harper, 88, of Franklin, Wisconsin. Police and the Montgomery County coroner are still confirming the identity of the seventh person killed.

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