WILSON — At least two people are dead following a fiery mutli-vehicle crash that occurred late Monday afternoon, October 23 in the westbound lane of Interstate 94 at the Wilson exit (mile marker 28) in St. Croix County.
According to a news release from the Wisconsin State Patrol, the crash happened around 5:38 p.m. and involved several semis and automobiles. A large fire engulfed many of the vehicles making rescue efforts by emergency personnel difficult.
Two fatalities and injuries to six others have been reported.
The Wisconsin State Patrol and Inspectors, St. Croix County Sheriff’s Deputies and multiple fire and EMS units responded to the seven vehicle crash.
As of late last evening, the scene was still active and under investigation. The State Highway 128 overpass at the location is closed until the possibility of structural damage can be assessed.
Law eforcement and emergency agencies were on scene throughout the night.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation also announced that ramps in St. Croix and Dunn counties were closed by 5 a.m. Tuesday, October 24 to limit traffic backups on the interstate. The closures include the westbound exit 28 on-ramp, the westbound exit 32 at County Q in Dunn County, and the westbound exit 41 at Wisconsin 25 in the Dunn County and City of Menomonie.
On the evening of Monday, October 23, westbound traffic on I-94 at MP 25.5 had significantly slowed due to congestion caused by a construction zone lane closure at that location. A 2013 Volvo semi unit traveling at highway speed failed to identify the slowed traffic ahead of it and struck a Ford F150 and a Freightliner semi unit. This initial impact caused a chain reaction crash involving four additional vehicles. Multiple vehicles burst into flames after the impact including the two semi units listed above. One of the semi units burned under the State Highway 128 overpass which necessitated closure of State Highway 128 until the bridge could be assessed for structural integrity. The operator of the striking semi and the Ford F150 were fatally injured in the crash. All other vehicle occupants which suffered injuries were treated and released. Names of those fatally injured are being withheld until family notifications can be made. I-94 westbound was closed until the overpass could be inspected and repairs to the roadway were completed, but the interstate has reopened now. State Highway 128 at I-94 is open at this time.