U.S. 41/45 SB reopens after massive multi-vehicle wreck Sunday

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MENOMONEE FALLS (WITI) -- The scene at U.S. 41/45 near Lannon Road was cleared on Sunday, December 8th just before 5:00 p.m. This, after a massive multiple-vehicle wreck shut down the SB lanes of the freeway for much of Sunday afternoon.

There were some reports Sunday that as many as 60 vehicles were involved in this wreck. Many of those vehicles were eventually taken to the Park & Ride on Lannon Road next to Highway 41.

The snow fell in southeastern Wisconsin on Sunday and it led to the massive multiple-vehicle crash on U.S. 41/45 SB that left the freeway closed for hours.

"It was just a mess," Zachary Zander said.

"It was just bad roads," Bruce Becker said.

"The roads started getting slick, and everyone just started bouncing off each other. It was ridiculous," Zander said.

Zander was driving southbound on the freeway near Lannon Road when the pileup began.

"I was cruising and then I see cars starting to slow down up ahead of me. I'm just shifting over and then one thing just happens -- bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce, and everyone's going everywhere," Zander said.

At about the same time, Becker found himself involved in the same crash.

"Cars were traveling -- some lost control ahead of us, so we just headed for the ditch to avoid hitting them," Becker said.

Both Zander and Becker escaped without injury -- but their vehicles suffered some damage.

"It's realizing that I just totaled the car and have to replace it. But we're just very thankful to God that nobody was injured. We're fine. And cars can be replaced," Becker said.

About 25 cars were towed to the Lannon Road Park & Ride.


  • Danno

    Why can’t you report the real story….where were the plows and salt trucks??? I was out much of this morning (8-12) and did not see one truck on the highway nor side streets neither before or during the storm. Wisconsin get’s snow like this often, so should not have been anywhere near this bad. 100% blame on the lack of preparedness of the county snow removal teams.

    • Mary

      I am 100% behind you!!!! I drive from northern WI to that area twice a week on business and there is NO excuse other than towns trying to pinch pennies and lazy plow drivers. It amazes me how road conditions can varyso much from area to area. After they started pileing up, they salted the heck out of the southbound lanes and did NOTHING with the north bound lanes! DUH!?

      • Patriot

        Typical liberal response, wanting the government nanny state to take care of you! How about being better prepared to drive in the snow instead of expecting the road to be salted every time it looks like snow. You probably want taxes raised for everyone to pay for it too.

      • mary

        Some day y’all will be sitting wrecked on the side of the road. Hope you remember your comments then. Keep in mind I did not wreck with my rear wheel vehicle, but that does not make me a better or worse driver than those who did. Just luckier

      • mary


    • Chris Losey

      Yes, the roads were bad… Boo-hoo. Every one of those people was driving too fast for the conditions… If people were a just a little bit more patient, and drove nice and slow, none of that would’ve happened… The drivers here are 100% responsible…

  • Shawn

    The blame rests on the people who were unprepared. I was out and didn’t have any difficulty getting around town late this evening without the plows out. People need to learn how to drive in the snow before hitting the highways. Every year during the first snow fall, I practice braking, acceleration, and turning/swerving to get a feel for how my car is going to handle. Winter tires help too.

    • upnorth

      I agree Shawn. I live in about an hour north of Wausau and people are just unprepared in this weather. Obviously when it snows and it starts to accumulate on the road that you are not going to be able to drive 60mph. If you are in that big of a hurry, then you should have left sooner or just call and say you are going to be late. Another factor is the cell phone. I am guilty of talking on the phone while driving, but if the roads are bad, I usually don’t answer or I call back at a better time. People need to pay attention to the roads.

      Last Wednesday when it rained after we had gotten about 3-4″ of snow, the roads became slushy. You would think they would come and plow off the slush before it froze. We all knew it was going to get cold late overnight and sure enough, We have about 2″ of frozen slush on our road. Made for a fun time for the buses last week!

      Let’s just blame Walker for everything!! Let’s forget about what positive things he has done for us.

      • Bob

        oh really , I would like to to here you say that if you were disabled and walker denies federal funding to help those that need medicaid. Ya boy walker sure is a great governor to play a political game at the expense of people who are helpless and need medical care . NICE

      • Damian

        First of all you can’t project pop up snow. And when it does do you think that all state workers at in the garage or behind the wheel ready all the time…. No! They have to be called in and then prep trucks then go out it takes time. Also think of weathermen this way. Career Meterologists are 30% correct and they get called every name in the book, but MLB players bat a career 300 and are praised and inducted into the hall of fame.. Batting 300 is 30%. So next time in that weather situation. SLOW DOWN!! Adhere to the conditions at that time and don’t put blames on others till you take a hard look at yourself and say ” how would I teach my own children to drive or react”

  • spoo

    All the news said this was going to start after 4 p.m.. It started early, and the cities don’t have the budget money to keep these guys on stand-by thanks to all the budget cuts courtesy of our leader Gov. Walker!

    • Patriot

      You’re badmouthing Gov. Walker for not hiring extra people to work when there wasn’t supposed to be snow? You say yourself the snow wasn’t supposed to start until 4, Spoo. Do you hire people to work at your business when it’s closed? I sure don’t.

      Sounds like we should cut funding to the meteorologists if they can’t do their job. Let’s let the private sector do better.

  • Eric

    I was going northbound at 6:30p Sun, saw the aftermath. North Milw roads were bad, then I hit MenoFalls and the roads were nearly perfect. I told the kids that I’ve never seen the roads so much better in MF vs MKE, then hit Gtown/Richfield and it was awful again.

    Guessing MenoFalls felt guilty about the crash and quick cleaned up the northbound side.

    Agree with the guy that mentioned you have to practice how to drive in this. There almost always are the slow careful drivers in the right lane doing the 35mph caravaning, while the fast cars speed through the left lane as if conditions are normal.

  • Tiffany Tischer

    I was about 5 cars behind everything it was horrible then as i was sitting there for 3hours i was just watching everyone that was coming.on too the on ramp crashing.into one another… i would say its aslo unattentive drivers how could they not see over 200veichles at a complete stop

  • Peter

    Most drivers are totally oblivious how to handle a car in snowy/icy conditions. Comes down to poor education, a clown could get a drivers license in the US.

  • Anthony

    Was there zero visibility? Why the heck are people driving so aggressively? Some of the people crashing near the end should have their licenses suspended forever!

  • Sharon Clark-Watson

    Why was everyone driving so fast in such back driving conditions? That is the real cause of that massive accidents.

  • Darren Nord

    Reminds me of Lemings. People should know to slow way down! This should not be the fault of anyone but the drivers who were going exceptionally fast in icy conditions. Hopefully no one was killed or seriously injured.

  • David Sims

    I saw the video of all the crashes. Most of the drivers were driving too fast. That’s why the road turned into a pin-ball machine with cars instead of balls and bumpers.

  • alisha

    David Sims…i couldn’t have said it better! People were driving WAY too fast for the conditions AND CONTINUED to after the massive car blockade also!!!

  • Jeff Backlund

    I have to laugh at people blaming plow trucks on here, I am in NJ and plow for DOT and when it gets bad we switch from salting to plowing but we also have contractors that get called in to help. The reason these pile ups happen is because of idiot drivers doing 60 MPH or higher in conditions like this, there is NO reason this should happen in ANY condition if drivers were being cautious and driving MUCH slower than they do. Watching this video there is nobody to blame but the drivers, it wouldn’t matter if the road was salted or a little clearer it all boils down to speeding during dangerous conditions.

  • Tolking

    I believe the ” Patriot” is not a true Patriot. Anyone who just uses a random political party to use as an excuse for lack of intelligence, obviously lacks serious intelligence for themselves. Also, I notice how they can’t even respond for themselves. Making me to believe more that he was just trolling, and probably a 15 year old in the basement of his mothers house and has no idea how the real world works.

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