Sheriff’s Office: Speed a factor in both semi crashes that closed freeways

MILWAUKEE -- According to the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office, speed was a factor in both of the crashes involving semi-tractor trucks this week that resulted in full freeway closures. Rush hour traffic came to a halt and thousands of people were impacted by the shutdown.

“Thousands of people were affected by the crashes caused by a couple of speeding and reckless drivers. Fortunately there were no serious injuries, but a few innocent motorists struck by a semi-truck have to repair or replace vehicles, and the two busiest interchanges in the state were at a standstill for hours," Acting Sheriff Schmidt said. "Pay attention, obey the speed limits, and we can all get to our destinations safely.”

The investigation into the car versus truck fiery crash early Wednesday morning, July 18, showed both drivers at fault.  The crash occurred on I-43 northbound near Wisconsin Avenue required a Hazmat response and full closure of the Marquette Interchange for close to six hours.

Chemical truck fire shuts down I-43 NB at National Avenue

The car was driving northbound through the Marquette Interchange, and the truck was traveling from the east to the north, crossing to the barreled-off construction area on I-43. The car struck the back of the truck and both were soon fully engulfed in flames.

The driver of the striking vehicle was cited for Unreasonable and Imprudent Speed within a highway maintenance/construction zone. The driver of the truck was cited for Operating Without a Valid License and Unsafe Lane Deviation.

Chemical truck fire shuts down I-43 NB at National Avenue

Speed was also a factor in the Tuesday semi-tractor trailer roll-over crash on I-41/US-45. Late Tuesday afternoon, July 17, around 4:30 p.m., sheriff's officials say a semi rolled over in the northbound lanes of I-41/45 near Mayfair, after striking the vehicle in front of it when the semi driver was unable to stop when traffic suddenly slowed. The rollover required the closure of northbound lanes from the Zoo Interchange for 5 hours and 20 minutes, and southbound lanes for just over an hour.

The semi veered left, struck the median wall and crossed all lanes of traffic before flipping on its side. The vehicle in front of it struck two other vehicles. First responders worried natural gas leaking from the truck could get scary.

The driver of the semi suffered a minor arm injury, and the driver of one of the cars that was struck was taken to the hospital with back, neck and shoulder pain.

Semi rollover on I-41 northbound near Mayfair

The semi's driver was cited for Unreasonable/Imprudent Speed/Failure to Control and Truck Following too Closely.

Thankfully, there were no major injuries in both cases.