U.S. 41 reopened after three-car crash closes southbound lanes

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WASHINGTON COUNTY -- The Washington County Sheriff's Department responded to a  multiple-vehicle traffic accident on Highway 41 near Holy Hill Road early Tuesday morning, May 15th. All three lanes of southbound Highway 41 were closed as crews responded to the crash.

Officials say three vehicles were involved and the crash spread across all three lanes of southbound Highway 41.

Germantown police say a 23-year-old female, operating a 2008 Nissan Versa in the center lane made an unsafe lane change and collided into a 2001 Ford Ranger operated by a 60-year-old man traveling in the right lane.

After that collision, the Nissan continued into the left lane and struck a 2003 Toyota Highlander operated by a 49-year-old female. The Toyota overturned and the operator was trapped inside.

The 49-year-old female had to be extricated by Germantown Fire and Rescue and was flown by Flight for Life due to her serious injuries.

The other two operators signed medical releases and were released from the scene. There were no passengers in the three vehicles.

US 41 southbound was closed for over an hour with periodic one lane openings in the shoulder for traffic to flow.

Traffic was heavy at the time of the accident and numerous Washington County Sheriff’s Deputies and Wisconsin State Patrol Troopers assisted with traffic control.

Just south of Holy Hill, there is a dip and a curve that has caused problems in the past, especially when it snows or rains. "The biggest issue is speed, and people being cautious and patient when they drive. If they keep enough distance and drive for the conditions, there would be far less accidents," Germantown Police Chief Peter Hoell said.

Police say the dip and curve have always been a problem, and there is also a train that goes underneath the road, which creates another bridge. When temperatures get close to freezing, the bridge will freeze sooner than the area that's on pavement, creating slick conditions.

There was another accident back in November of 2011 in the area. "The driver who caused the accident was going down in the dip and curve. He actually was going below the speed limit, but lost control due to the rainy conditions," Chief Hoell said.

Germantown police say they respond to over 100 accidents between Highway Q and Holy Hill in an average year.

The operator of the Nissan involved in Tuesday's crash will be issued a traffic citation for the unsafe lane deviation.