‘A walking miracle:’ Woman who survived deadly I-41 pileup thanks rescuers

NEENAH — A woman involved in the largest crash in Wisconsin history has a new appreciation for life, and she wants to thank those who helped rescue her.

On Sunday, Feb. 24 a total of 131 vehicles were involved in a pileup on I-41 southbound near Neenah. Seventy-one people were hurt and 30-year-old Andrew Schefelker of Oshkosh lost his life.

131-vehicle pileup on I-41 SB near Neenah (PHOTO: Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office)

131-vehicle pileup on I-41 SB near Neenah (PHOTO: Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office)

Mangled vehicles lined the highway following the crash, including Alix Martinez’s 2012 Chevy Cruz.

Alix Martinez’s vehicle courtesy: Expert Automotive Services Facebook page

According to towing company, Expert Automotive Services, Martinez was involved in the early-stages of the crash. Her vehicle was struck by a tractor trailer.

Alix Martinez courtesy: Expert Automotive Services Facebook page

Martinez, the towing company says, was pinned inside her car for an hour before she was extricated using the jaws of life.

Martinez survived the crash but her Chevy Cruz did not. Expert Automotive Services says the jaws of life had to be used to separate her vehicle from the tractor trailer.

Her car may be a total loss, but Martinez is just glad to be alive.

The towing company shared photos of Martinez on their Facebook page, saying she would like to thank everyone involved with her rescue.

“Truly a walking miracle,” the Facebook post says.

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