Good Samaritans stop to help after wrong-way driver on I-94 causes fatal crash

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KENOSHA CO. (WITI) -- Kenosha authorities and the Wisconsin State Patrol are investigating a fatal wrong-way crash that happened on I-94 early Sunday, September 21st. Three others were hurt in the wreck.

Just before 1 a.m., a Wisconsin State Trooper spotted a white pickup truck driving southbound in the northbound lanes of I-94 near Highway 142.

The trooper pulled the truck over -- but then the driver of the truck fled and scene and continued heading the wrong way on I-94. A few moments later, the driver of the truck struck a northbound pickup truck head-on.

The driver of the truck that was struck died on the scene. A passenger in that same truck suffered serious injuries.

The wrong-way driver suffered life-threatening injuries -- and a passenger in that truck suffered less severe injuries and is expected to be okay.

The wreck was cleared around 5:30 a.m. Sunday.

Kevin Verbunker tried to help the injured passenger in the white pickup truck.

"All you could smell was a stagnant liquor smell in the vehicle," Verbunker said.

Verbunker says he then went to the other truck. That truck's driver was dead, and the passenger suffered serious injuries.

"The lady in the vehicle identified herself as his wife, and kept asking about her husband - 'how's my husband?' That's all she could think about. She wasn't even thinking about her own injury," Verbunker said.

After sunrise, word of the crash spread to nearby businesses -- including the Mars Cheese Castle.

Co-owner Tyson Wehrmeister also lives in the area. He says he can't help but think about what happened up the road.

"Especially with having a new teenage driver, you bet. I want her to be safe. I want anyone who comes to the store to be safe," Wehrmeister said.

Verbunker says the sight of another crash caused by a wrong-way driver disturbs him, but he says the public should also know about the good he saw on I-94.

"People usually just drive by and I was shocked to see so many people there. Another eight bodies there with me just helping," Verbunker said.

Monitor FOX6 News and FOX6Now.com for updates on this developing story.

15 comments

  • Ayup

    Who was the genius that designed a system where on and off ramps are right next to each other? Also, another immaculately written article by Fox6.

    • R

      Who’s the genius who drinks to the point of blindness and tries to drive? Blame the engineer because the driver is an idiot?

    • soulobigdaddy

      might seem strange, but I’ve never had a problem distinguishing an on ramp from an off ramp in my 24 + yrs of driving experience

  • Ubiquitous King

    Lets pray this a hole meets the same fate he /she rendered on the unfortunate victims. What’s so hard about staying home when you drink or resting off your drunk until you are sober.

  • Lone ranger

    I hope they slam the hammer down on this drunk and what the heck difference does it make whether the ramps are next to one another? It was designed for sober drivers and this drunk made the decision to run after he had been pulled over which was a terrible decision. In fact he should be pulled out of the hospital and thrown in a cell PERIOD! Why does he deserve to live when he just took a innocent life!!? Accidents are one thing this was no accident he made choices.

  • Matt Andexler

    I wonder if the white pickup driver was the same one I reported to the Kenosha police department around 7 PM that ran up the curb at Green Bay rd and 53rd street and almost hit the building of the insurance company. Then he tore off over other property and into the Culvers parking lot before taking off down 52nd street west toward the airport and 94. The police weren’t there quick enough to get to him. Sure looks like the same pick up truck.

  • fed up

    The police should have not perused him but instead followed from a distance or setup troopers further down the road to catch him. He is DRUNK, and you chase him into oncomming traffic? I blade the police for the innocent driver loosing his life just as much as the drunk driver.

    • Dave B

      Your out of your mind. Don’t fault the trooper he knows the road conditions there, do you? He was heading into a construction cross-over area where it becomes 2 lanes with no place to escape for drivers headed the correct direction. To NOT try to stop him would have been dereliction of duty by the trooper, he would have had to travel about 2 miles thru the reduced lanes construction area in the wrong direction before he might have exited I-94.

  • Sandy

    Rest in peace Bob.. You leave behind a wonderful wife (still in the hospital) and two young boys. When will something be done to stop these wrong way drivers. I have lost 3 friends this year to car accidents.

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