Photos of smashed squad highlight dangers faced by first responders at crash scenes

MENOMONEE FALLS -- A Menomonee Falls police officer assisting at the scene of a crash became a victim himself when his squad was rear-ended in December, sending him and several others to the hospital. Police on Monday, Jan. 15 released new video and photos from the crash, with special message for drivers.

Police once again asked that you slow down, and watch out for other vehicles, especially first responders who may be on the side of the roadway.

Crash on I-41 NB near County Line Road in Germantown

The officer-involved crash sent four people to the hospital, including the police officer.

"The one thing that we hear from people involved in traffic crashes is that it happened so fast," Jeff Knop, captain of protective services with the Menomonee Falls Police Department said.

The crash happened on I-41 NB near County Line Road in Germantown. Police said the officer who was injured was setting up traffic control in response to an earlier crash just south of his location.

"He was actually in his vehicle. His condition might have been worst if he wasn't wearing a seat belt," Knop said.


Police said the officer had set up traffic cones and had his squad's lights activated when a female driver rear-ended his squad. Crews were then on the scene of two crashes, involving six vehicles.

Flight for Life helicopters were called to transport patients, bringing traffic to a standstill.

"Any time there are weather conditions that affect road services, they become slippery and wet, there' low visibility, motorists have to slow down. They have to adjust their speed and adjust their driving habits to keep themselves safe," Knop said.

Police said this crash is a reminder to all drivers of what can happen when you drive recklessly, or too quickly.

"What we ask is that they also understand because of those road conditions and the weather, there are often going to be first responders out on the highway as well," Knop said.

The driver involved in the crash that injured the officer was among those hurt -- treated at a hospital. She was cited for inattentive driving.