EL PASO, Ill. (WMBD) — Ahead of dangerous driving conditions Thursday and Friday, we are looking back at an incident that left more than 100 vehicles stranded on I-39 outside El Paso.

On Feb. 17, 19 semis and nine other vehicles were involved in a crash that led to a backup of more than 100 cars.

Numerous other vehicles and semis also slid off the roadway to avoid the crash.

Drivers who were stuck on the interstate needed to be taken to warming centers. 12 tow trucks were at the scene and assisted with clean-up that continued into the next day.

Peoria Heights business owner David Troesser was one of the drivers who drove into a ditch to avoid crashing.

“It was a whiteout. It was blizzard standards, so I didn’t really have too much time to make a decision,” Troesser said.

In a press release Tuesday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommended everyone assess local risk and the risk in the area they are traveling the next few days.

Those who must travel are encouraged to know several safety measures before traveling in blizzard-like conditions:

  • Have a full tank of gas.
  • Have essentials including a flashlight warm clothes, blankets, food, and water.
  • Anyone stranded should stay in their car and watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia.
  • Know who to call if your travel will be delayed or postponed.

More winter weather tips are available here.