GERMANTOWN (WITI) -- There were big backups during the evening commute Wednesday, March 4th after a serious crash sent four people to the hospital -- three of them taken by helicopter. Germantown police say the crash involved five vehicles, and occurred around 2:00 p.m. on northbound US 41/45 at Lannon Road. Northbound US 41/45 was closed for several hours -- and reopened around 5:30 p.m.
Police say this was a string of three separate crashes that began when a 30-year-old woman driving a white Equinox suffered some sort of medical emergency while she was behind the wheel. That woman crashed into the center median.
"Another northbound vehicle pulled right behind the first vehicle in an attempt to render aid," Germantown Police Lt. David Huesemann said.
A 45-year-old woman driving her black Dodge Journey got out of her vehicle, and so did the Equinox's driver. As they were both standing along U.S. 41/45, another crash occurred.
"There was a northbound semi traveling in the northbound lanes that hit a line of cars that had stopped on the highway as a result of the first accident," Lt. Huesemann said.
The semi ended up pushing those cars into the scene of the first accident.
"If the car had swayed one way or another a couple of feet, we may have had a double fatality out there," Lt. Huesemann said.
One of the woman who had been standing on U.S. 41/45 was thrown into the guardrail. The other was tossed over it. A third driver was injured while trying to help.
Police called for three Flight for Life helicopters. The two women and the semi's driver were flown to the hospital. The other driver was taken to the hospital by ambulance. All are expected to survive.
This crash is the latest to occur on a stretch of roadway Germantown police say has been particularly bad for drivers. There have been about 60 crashes since August. A crash on February 16th involving a semi sent five people to the hospital.
"The primary flaw that I see with that stretch of roadway is icing conditions. I don`t like going on this stretch of highway," Lt. Huesemann said.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Department responded and helped on scene and with traffic control. WI State Patrol assisted with traffic control and accident reconstruction efforts.
It is still early in this investigation, but police say there is a possibility the semi's driver could be cited for inattentive driving.
As law enforcement officials were on the scene of this crash, another crash occurred at Pilgrim Road and Sylvan Road. That crash involved two vehicles and two people were taken to the hospital with injuries.
Monitor FOX6 News and FOX6Now.com for updates on this developing story.