GERMANTOWN (WITI) -- Germantown police say there's one spot on Highway 41/45 where any distraction on a driver's part can be especially dangerous. There was a crash on Monday night, February 16th involving a car and a semi that sent five people to the hospital, including three young children, and police say that's one of 60 crashes on the stretch of 41/45 since construction began in August.
911 calls show the panic after Germantown police say a car left the right lane and struck a semi driving in the center lane. The car then struck the median wall on the left before crossing all three lanes of traffic -- striking the right side wall on the highway before stopping.
All five people in the car were taken to the hospital with superficial injuries. That includes the female driver, a mother and her three children -- all under the age of four. We're told none of the children were in car seats at the time of the crash.
The semi suffered minor damage. The semi's driver is from Racine, and that driver wasn't injured.
Germantown Police Captain Mike Snow says Monday night's crash could have been much worse.
"We had one back in December with the southbound lane backed up and a motorist not aware that that delay was ahead of him. Had to make an evasive move at the last second, crossed the median which caused a fatality in the northbound lane of traffic," Captain Snow said.
That crash happened in this same construction zone on Highway 41/45 -- where lanes narrow and even shift in pattern. Since the road work started in August, Germantown police say they've seen about 60 accidents on the stretch.
"If we`re just focused on what we`re doing and understanding that just losing that focus for a split second can have dire consequences," Captain Snow said.
Snow says often it is inattentive drivers, but sometimes it's speed. The speed limit drops to 55 in the construction zone.
"I was there earlier in an unmarked squad and people still are going too fast for that area," Captain Snow said.
Snow says his officers do what they can to help -- often stationing themselves in the area, especially when there are additional lane closures. But he says the bottom line is, this construction will continue for awhile, and drivers need to pay attention.
Police say the stretch gets even worse when we're experiencing winter weather because drivers can't always see the dividing lines between traffic lanes -- but even without the construction, accidents are common along this stretch of roadway when roads get slick.
Captain Snow says construction is expected to continue until at least June.