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‘An all-around good kid:’ 18-year-old killed, 7 hurt when minivan crossed median on I-41

SLINGER -- A fatal crash closed all southbound lanes of I-41 at County Highway K near Slinger in Washington County for almost three hours on Sunday, July 8.

It happened around 7:45 p.m.

According to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, an 18-year-old man was driving a minivan northbound on I-41 when he crossed over the center median and into southbound traffic. An SUV stuck the mini-van on the passenger side.

Fatal crash on I-41 in Washington County

Fatal crash on I-41 in Washington County

Washington County Sheriff Dale Schmidt

"After it went through the median, it was essentially sideways when it was impacted," said Washington County Sheriff Dale Schmidt.

Inside the SUV was a woman and six minors.

The 18-year-old driver of the minivan sustained life-threatening injuries and Flight For Life arrived on scene. CPR was started on the victim, but sadly he was pronounced dead and was not transported by Flight For Life.

"Pretty serious impact, which obviously resulted in the death of the 18-year-old," said Sheriff Schmidt.

Those in the SUV were taken to hospitals for treatment of injuries not believed to be life-threatening.

What caused the minivan's driver to leave his lane is a mystery to investigators and his family.

Adam Hoefs

"It was supposed to be smooth sailing," said Adam Hoefs.

Adam Hoefs identified that driver as his brother, Alex Hoefs, who recently graduated from West Allis Central High School and was beginning an apprenticeship.

"He was going to become an electrician like me and sort of follow in my footsteps," said Adam Hoefs.

Adam Hoefs said his younger brother lived life to the fullest.

"He was always there helping people out. He was just overall an all-around good kid," said Adam Hoefs.

Alex Hoefs

"If there are other witnesses out there that saw the beginning part of the crash we would love to hear from them. It would help our investigation," said Sheriff Schmidt.

Adam Hoefs said he plans to honor his beloved younger brother this weekend.

Alex Hoefs

"Alex was supposed to be bowling in a bowling tournament this weekend. I'm going to be taking his spot," said Adam Hoefs.

The crash remains under investigation.

Meanwhile, a GoFundMe.com account has been set up to raise money for funeral costs. CLICK HERE if you'd like to make a donation.

DOT officials reported a second closure on I-41 southbound at WIS 33 Sunday evening -- impacting all lanes of the southbound interstate.

Jackson police confirmed for FOX6 News they sent two ambulances to separate crashes -- one near I-41 and K and another near Kettle Moraine and K.