Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office: Wrong-way driver dies in freeway crash

Contact: Fran McLaughlin, Director of Support Services
Bureau of Administrative Services
Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office

(414) 278-5226, Office
(414) 254-9488, Cell

Milwaukee, Wisconsin – This morning, at 3:45 a.m., Milwaukee County OEM dispatch broadcast a call of a wrong-way driver southbound in the northbound lanes on I-43 in the Marquette Interchange.  Two minutes later a call went out about a jack-knifed semi-truck which was on fire on the High Rise Bridge.

The semi and another vehicle were fully engulfed in flames. An off-duty MPD officer attempted to remove the unconscious driver from the car, but was driven back by the flames. The Milwaukee Fire Department (MFD) arrived and extinguished the fire.

The driver of the semi was able to get out of the cab of his truck as it became engulfed in flames. He said he was traveling northbound when he saw a vehicle without headlights on coming directly at his semi. A car in the lane next to him prevented him from being able to swerve out of the way.  He was transported to the hospital with pain to his ankles and knees from the crash.

Northbound traffic was diverted off at National Avenue and a counter-flow was conducted to remove the vehicles that were stuck in traffic behind the crash scene.  Several southbound lanes were also closed due to the fire.  The Medical Examiner’s Office investigator responded and pronounced the subject deceased at 6:55 a.m, and MFD removed the body from the vehicle.

Sheriff’s Office investigators are assigned to the case.  The location where the driver got on the freeway the wrong way is not yet known. The deceased has not yet been positively identified.

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