One dead, at least 50 hurt in wreck on I-94 at Cty. K in Racine Co.

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RACINE CO. (WITI) -- FOX6 News has learned one person was killed in Racine County on Sunday, December 8th in a weather-related traffic incident, and at least 50 others suffered injuries.

As of 3:30 p.m., Racine County Sheriff's officials reported approximately 60 crashes in Racine County Sunday -- with about half of those being on I-94.

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All lanes of southbound I-94 at County Highway K were reopened after a multiple-vehicle wreck early Sunday.

Motorists had been routed off the interstate at County K -- and were allowed to re-enter the interstate at Highway 20.

Officials in Racine say an adult male was killed on I-94 SB just south of 2 Mile Road in the Town of Yorkville. The Wisconsin State Patrol is investigating.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victim's family," Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling said.

Later Sunday evening, a closure on I-94 EB at Seven Mile Road was cleared and traffic was allowed to move through the area.

A spokesperson from Wheaton Franciscan Hospital in Franklin says the hospital received 23 patients from the crash near County K -- and said some ambulances carried multiple patients.

That spokesperson says the majority of patients injured in the Racine incident were taken to Wheaton Franciscan All Saints Hospital in Racine.

Wheaton Franciscan All Saints says it received 27 patients in four hours on Sunday. A spokesperson with that hospital says they called in extra staff into the emergency room to deal with patients transported. Most of the injuries were minor -- according to the spokesperson.

Racine County Sheriff's officials say injuries range from broken bones to lacerations.

A Sheriff's deputy responding to a scene slipped and fell and was taken to the hospital as a precaution.

One squad car was totaled when a vehicle lost control and smashed into the back of the squad.

Some FOX6 News viewers reported near white-out conditions on the freeways on Sunday -- and the Wisconsin DOT was urging folks to stay off the roadways if at all possible.

FOX6's Derica Williams was monitoring conditions on I-94 in Racine County on Sunday morning and afternoon. One driver called the conditions "absolutely terrible."

Snow on the roadway and poor visibility caused dozens of vehicles to collide on the interstate.

Jenna Gaffney and her friends were shaken up on Sunday afternoon after experiencing a close call.

"I thought we were going to die for sure! It's bad. It's really bad! A semi cut over and cut me off and I couldn't brake and started losing control. I hit the semi -- clipped it, and got a dent. Knocked my mirror off. Then we lost control in the left lane and spun and hit the wall, so my other tire is crooked and can't go anywhere. My steering is all messed up. It was the scariest moment of my life," Gaffney told FOX6 News.

Driving in the treacherous conditions on Sunday was scary for nearly all the drivers FOX6 News spoke with in Racine County.

"I"m still shaking from it. I've never in my life seen anything like this. I said a prayer. We all said a prayer for us to get back home safely," one driver told FOX6 News.

Matt Leitch was at the front of the pileup on I-94 near Highway 20 Sunday.

"It was hard to see. It was just a whiteout. It was terrible. As soon as I touched the brakes I started sliding sideways. The semis behind me were able to stop, but unfortunately, the people behind them weren't able to," Leitch said.

Around 13 departments responded just along I-94 in Racine County on Sunday -- making it a three-alarm level for safety.

Monitor FOX6 News and for updates on this developing story.


  • Justin Hankins

    This was actually a 4 alarm level for safety incident. The 4th alarm was sounded for additional ambulances to help with the injured. It should also be noted at least 1 possibly 2 City of Racine Buses were dispatched to the area to help keep people warm and help transport injured parties to waiting ambulances.

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