Interstate 94 in west-central Wisconsin was the site of a massive wreck early Thursday morning when a tractor trailer slid on the icy pavement into the median. The truck caught fire and trapped two cars underneath, consequently resulting in a string of separate collisions. Somehow, authorities report no one was seriously injured.
In total, 40 vehicles — many of them also semi trucks — were involved in the accident that shut down a 40-mile section of highway between Black River Falls and Foster. The closure is expected to last into the evening, according to a post on the Wisconsin State Patrol Facebook page. Judging from the images and amateur footage, it isn’t hard to tell why.
Frankly, it’s a miracle that no fatalities — let alone life-threatening injuries — were reported. Some individuals were transported to hospitals but with only minor injuries, state patrol Lt. Tim Weiberg told CNN. Freezing rain is thought to be responsible for the slippery road surface. The accident happened at approximately 5:45 a.m.
Some of the trailers damaged in the crash ended up so mangled, they look like they were artificially warped in Photoshop.
The aftermath spilled over into the opposing direction of traffic, prompting a closure of both eastbound and westbound lanes. Many commenters on the department’s Facebook post note that this is a particularly dangerous stretch of I-94, on a hill where accidents aren’t uncommon and roads evidently aren’t sufficiently salted this time of year.
If nothing else it’s a staggering reminder to those of us in colder climates to take it slow out there, particularly when traveling early in the morning or late at night when adverse conditions may not be as obvious to the naked eye. And if you don’t have a set of winter tires, maybe consider addressing that.