‘Totally outrageous:’ Driver cited after car hauler with ‘serious violations’ had to be escorted off I-41

MILWAUKEE -- A truck driver was cited after the vehicle had to be escorted off the freeway due to "serious violations," officials with the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office said Monday, Feb. 19.

It happened shortly before 7 a.m.

According to MCSO, a 911 caller reported the unsafe car hauler on I-41 SB near Bluemound Rd.

A "truck enforcement" deputy was able to stop the vehicle, which was headed to Miller Compressing from Eagle River. Sheriff's officials say the truck had "serious violations" and was escorted off the freeway by multiple squads.

"You can just imagine the tragic outcome that could have happened -- hitting other cars, cars swerving out of the way when this missile is coming off of this truck," Acting Sheriff Richard Schmidt said.

Sheriff's officials said the hauler was only allowed to carry four vehicles, but there were eight stacked up on its trailer bed, and towed behind it. The two vehicles being towed behind the car hauler were on top of each other, with the top vehicle only secured with a tie strap attached to the handles of the bottom car.

“In the last quarter of 2017 I ordered the resurrection of the Truck Enforcement Unit. Our highly trained deputies are actively targeting trucks that jeopardize the safety of the motoring public. The public is encouraged to call 911 immediately if they see trucks with obvious violations on the expressway," Acting Sheriff Richard Schmidt said in a news release.

The trucking company was owned by the operator of the car hauler, who was cited for equipment and safety violations: The truck wasn't registered, there was no log book for trips made, there were serious suspension issues, there were no walls on the flatbed, it was overweight and towing improperly.

"We can all be very thankful somehow, some way, gravity was sufficient to keep this thing together this time. Next time, maybe not so lucky," Schmidt said.

The truck was taken out of service until the violations, totaling $2,940 in fines, are fixed.

Acting Sheriff Schmidt said situations like this are the reason he devotes two deputies to full-time truck enforcement. He's working on adding a third deputy to this effort.

"$3,000 does not take care of the absolute outrageous, careless behavior that this driver exhibited. Totally outrageous. This could have ended in serious injury or even death by the sloppiness, carelessness of this particular driver," Sheriff Schmidt said.

Sheriff Schmidt noted the driver in this case told investigators he doesn't normally drive this truck.