UPDATE JUNE 20 9:25 AM—————————————————————————–
Wisconsin police said that one of the truck drivers who lost his life in a fiery crash on I-94 yesterday was a hero who took evasive action to save lives.
— Milwaukee Patch (@Milwaukee_Patch) June 20, 2019
During a press conference yesterday afternoon, Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling provided more detail about a multi-vehicle crash that claimed the lives of two truck drivers I-94/41 near Mount Pleasant in Racine County in southeastern Wisconsin around 11 a.m. on June 19.
Schmailing said that the crash began when a semi truck traveling south on I-94 made a lane change and hit a construction barrier. This caused the truck driver to overcorrect and crash into the median wall, which sent the median wall into the northbound lanes of the interstate.
Three northbound vehicles then crashed into the median or each other.
It was at this moment that a northbound truck driver chose to make a “very evasive maneuver” and drove off of the interstate to avoid the pileup, sending his truck crashing 30 feet off the roadway where it burst into flames.
Both semi truck drivers died at the scene. Two other people were seriously injured.
“In my 24 years on this job, this is the worst accident I’ve ever been part of,” said Schmailing.
Schmailing said that the driver of the northbound semi truck gave his life to save others:
“By turning, avoiding a crash of three individuals and a semi tractor that’s already involved in the crash, and turning to avoid all of that — absolutely. I think this unfortunate, deceased individual is a hero in and of itself by turning down and risking his own life to avoid crashing into innocent people. He turned off the roadway, rather than crashing into three other vehicles and a semi. I would suggest to you that that is very heroic — risking his own life in an effort to save potentially three other vehicles.”
Schmaling promised to provide extra patrols in the construction zone where the crash occurred.
Southbound I-94 was shut down for 10 hours but reopened by 8:30 p.m.
Wisconsin transportation officials shut down both directions of I-94 for a fiery multiple vehicle crash that claimed the lives of two people.
ALERT: I-94 FULL FREEWAY CLOSURE in Racine Co. due to an incident. NB traffic exiting at KR. SB traffic exiting at Hwy G. This will be a long-duration closure. Please avoid the area and use an alternate route. pic.twitter.com/XYbBca3EG1
— 511 Wisconsin (@511WI) June 19, 2019
The crash occurred around 11 a.m. on Wednesday, June 19, on I-94/41 near Mount Pleasant in Racine County in southeastern Wisconsin.
Witnesses say that a semi truck jumped the median on I-94 and that the truck later caught fire and exploded. The crash left a semi truck dangling off of the interstate over Kraut Road. Local reports indicate that other vehicles were involved in the crash and subsequent fire.
BREAKING VIDEO: @fox6now viewer Katelynn Planka sent us this video of the freeway crash/fire with a semi truck smoldering and dangling off I-94/41 over Kraut Road. More info on air and online pic.twitter.com/5V3sligG70
— Brian Graham 📺 (@blitzgrambo) June 19, 2019
Officials have confirmed that at least two people were killed in the crash.
It isn’t clear how many others were injured but authorities report multiple victims.
One of our listeners sent us video of the accident on I-94 in Mount Pleasant. Watch below. pic.twitter.com/jgi7Ctq77L
— 620wtmj (@620wtmj) June 19, 2019
Both directions of I-94 were closed down for the crash resulting in massive traffic backups. Reports indicate that some traffic is now getting through in the southbound lanes.
— Bret Lemoine (@BretLemoine) June 19, 2019
This is a developing story.