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Missouri man is final victim identified from I-55 pileup

 An ambulance at a massive accident scene along I-55, south of Springfield, May 1.
Nathan Cormier
An ambulance at a massive accident scene along I-55, south of Springfield, May 1.

The Illinois State Police Thursday released name of the 7th and final victim of the accidents along Interstate-55, south of Springfield, earlier this month. Police said Otto Medina-Salazar, 58, from Carthage, Missouri, was killed in the crash.

A total of 72 vehicles were involved when a dust storm, blowing from adjacent farm fields that had been recently plowed, dropped visibility to near zero. 37 people were taken to hospitals with injuries ranging from minor to life threatening.

The accidents near Farmersville shut down the interstate for several hours. The National Weather Service issued its first Blowing Dust Warning later that day.

The other accident victims included:

Shirley Harper, 88, from Franklin, WI

Joseph Bates, 73, from Crystal Lake, IL

Donna Bates, 71, from Crystal Lake, IL

Earl LeGrand, 64, from Florissant, MO

Michael Zinchuk, 55, from Champaign, IL

Amy Zinchuk, 54, from Champaign, IL

An investigation of the crash continues, according to authorities.

On Thursday, Congresswoman Nikki Budzinski (IL-13) and Congresswoman Mary Miller (IL-15) led a moment of silence on the House floor with colleagues from the Illinois congressional delegation to honor the victims.

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