Officials in Milwaukee County are calling wrong way drivers an epidemic after a fatal crash on Milwaukee’s High Rise Bridge Wednesday morning.
A wrong-way driver and a UPS tractor-trailer collided on Interstate 43 on the High Rise Bridge around 3:45 a.m.
The truck driver was able to escape his truck; however, the wrong way driver was pronounced dead at the scene.
“Out of the corner of my eye I noticed a big flash,” a witness said. “You could see the flames probably five or six feet above the fire truck in front of it.”
The crash ignited a flame that was far too large to manage with a single fire extinguisher.
Acting Sheriff Richard Schmidt said in an afternoon news conference this was one of 125 reported wrong-way driving incidents in Milwaukee County this year. Eighty-one of those were confirmed by video, and 15 arrests were made, according to Fox 6 News.
“It’s of epidemic proportions when you get 125 people in 10 months getting on the freeway the wrong way,” Schmidt commented.
Although efforts have been made to educate drivers and many electronic signs have installed, wrong way drivers persist.
“It’s just a horrific situation,” Schmidt said.
The wrong way driver has not yet been identified due to the severity of the accident.