Fiery Crash at 50th Road in Racine County Leaves 2 Truck Drivers Dead, Injures 2 More People
When a southbound semi tractor-trailer hit a construction barrier on I-41/94 in Racine County on Wednesday morning, it started a chain reaction that ultimately led to the tractor-trailer driver’s death, the death of another semi truck driver and injuries to two passengers in vehicles traveling northbound.
In a news conference yesterday afternoon, Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling said this is the worst accident he has ever been a part of in 24 years on the job.
Schmaling said 911 calls started coming in at about 11 a.m., and callers talked about a crash, explosions and a fire. The investigation of the crash revealed the fire and explosions were the result of a series of events that started with the southbound driver changing lanes and hitting a construction barrier.
The driver over-corrected after hitting the barrier and the truck proceeded to crash into the median wall, pushing it into the northbound side of I-94. This led to three vehicles on the northbound side either hitting each other or the barriers.
As this was happening, a semi tractor-trailer approached the vehicles on the northbound side and the driver of that vehicle chose to swerve to avoid those vehicles. His truck went off the overpass and burst into flames. The explosions that were reported appeared to be the tires, which heated up from the fire.
Schmaling said this driver is a hero for turning away and risking his life to prevent others from getting hurt.
The stretch of interstate where the crash occurred, Highway 20 to Highway G, was shut down in both directions after the wreck as authorities investigated. Frontage Road East and West were also closed.
The southbound lanes opened just before 9 p.m. last night, approximately 10 hours after the accident happened. The northbound lanes were still closed last night so crews could attempt to repair fire damage to pavement.
If you have any information that would be helpful to investigators, call 262-886-2300. You can provide information anonymously if you would like.
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