Sheriff: Truck driver who died in I-94 crash drove off the road to save lives

The sheriff called this the worst accident he had seen in his 24 years.

I-94

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.

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.

ORIGINAL REPORT—————————————————————————————

Wisconsin transportation officials shut down both directions of I-94 for a fiery multiple vehicle crash that claimed the lives of two people.

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.

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.

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.

This is a developing story.

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