Chain-reaction crashes kill 3 on interstate near St. Louis

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ST. LOUIS (AP) — An early-morning series of crashes on an interstate near St. Louis has left three people dead, the Missouri State Highway Patrol said.

The chain-reaction began around 12:30 a.m. on southbound lanes of Interstate 270 at Kirkwood, the patrol said. The first crash involved a semitrailer and a car that left two people inside the passenger car dead, according to investigators.

As the truck driver got out of his rig to check on people in the car, he was hit and killed by another vehicle, troopers said.

At least two more vehicles crashed into the wreckage on the interstate, although no one was injured in those crashes. Police did not immediately release the names of those killed as they first sought to inform family members of the victims.

The crash shut down all southbound and two northbound lanes of the interstate. All lanes reopened around 6:30 a.m., but traffic along the stretch was expected to be slowed during the morning rush.

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