Wisconsin State Patrol investigates series of crashes on I-39/90

DEFOREST, Wis.– The Wisconsin State Patrol Traffic Reconstruction Unit is investigating a series of three crashes that happened just before 4 a.m. Friday morning.

“A semi tractor traveling at highway speeds created a chain reaction crash that involved at least eight vehicles. There were three semi-tractors, a dump truck and four passenger vehicles,” Captain Jason Zeeh said.

The interstate was closed for seven hours as officials cleared the scene and gathered evidence. A lead investigator said the investigation might take some time.

“This one, unfortunately, based on the severe nature of it, the fact that a number of the witnesses involved are still going to be in the hospital for lengthy periods of time and unable to talk to us means that this could be a matter of days or even weeks before we fully understand what happened,” Sgt. Michael Marquardt said.

At least four people were killed and multiple people suffered injuries. A Columbia County highway worker was seriously injured in the crash. Two state troopers suffered serious, but non-life-threatening injuries. The troopers were released from the hospital Friday afternoon.

Zeeh thanked the agencies that helped on scene, as well as the civilian bystanders that helped those injured.

“I especially want to thank the citizens that assisted in today’s crash. Without their quick action, a couple of them actually, specifically pulled two people from a vehicle that was soon after engulfed in flames,” Zeeh said.

This is an ongoing investigation.