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2 dead in fiery I-94 crash in Wisconsin

“In my 20 years of my job, this is the worst accident I’ve ever been part of,” the Racine County sheriff said.

Smoke billows from a semi after a deadly crash on Interstate 94 in Caledonia, Wisconsin.
Katelyn Planka via AP

At least two people are dead after a fiery crash Wednesday involving two semitrailers and multiple vehicles on Interstate 94 in southern Wisconsin.

Callers reported a crash and explosions about 11 a.m. near Route 20, about 24 miles south of Milwaukee, Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling said in a news conference.

“In my 20 years of my job, this is the worst accident I’ve ever been part of,” Schmaling said.

One semi driver traveling south attempted to change lanes but struck a construction barrier, Schmaling said.

The driver apparently overcorrected themselves and collided with a median, sending the concrete barrier into the lanes of northbound traffic, Schmaling said. The semi burst into flames.

Another semi driver traveling northbound made an evasive maneuver and crashed into a ditch on the side of the road, Schmaling said. That truck also burst into flames.

Schmaling said the driver of the second semi that took the evasive maneuver “undoubtedly” saved lives by driving into a ditch.

“I think this unfortunately deceased individual is a hero,” Schmaling said.

The drivers of both semitrailers were pronounced dead, Schmaling said. It was unclear if there were additional passengers in either semi.

Three other vehicles were involved in the crash. Two occupants of vehicles were transported with serious injuries, and a third person involved was uninjured, Schmaling said.

Reports of explosions following the impacts may have been truck tires popping from the heat of the flames, Schmaling said.

The interstate has been under “extreme” construction, and has had “a lot” of crashes recently, Schmaling said.

The investigation into the crash is ongoing.