The accident happened on I-55 at Route 143 near Edwardsville.
Illinois State Police said the driver of a semi-truck briefly took his eyes of the road to pick up a bottled tea, causing him to hit the car in front of him. Officers said that's what caused a chain reaction to take place. As of Friday night, three people had life-threatening injuries.
The crash remains under investigation by the Illinois State Police. As of Friday evening, no charges had been filed in the crash.