August 27, 2020 – Washington Co., WI – Thursday morning, August 27, 2020 at 5:41 a.m. the Washington County Sheriff’s Office responded to a two vehicle accident on I41 south of STH 60. The initial information was the accident involved a northbound semi and a truck.
Deputies arrived on scene and located a semi in the median and a severely damaged truck in the ditch. The driver of the semi did not know how the accident occurred, and deputies could not locate any occupants in the truck. First responders immediately began searching the area for any occupants that may have been ejected until it was determined the truck was unoccupied and parked on the shoulder prior to the accident.
The semi driver, a 57-year-old Appleton man, was not hurt and told investigators he may have fallen asleep prior to the accident. The investigation into the accident continues and enforcement is pending. Interstate 41 was closed for approximately two hours to facilitate clean-up operations.
Washington County Sheriff Martin Schulteis wanted to highlight the effectiveness of the newly-installed, high-tension cable barriers. “These cables are designed to detach from the posts and absorb the energy of vehicles. In this case the vehicle was a semi loaded with 12,000 pounds traveling at highway speeds during morning commute traffic. This device prevented a cross-over type secondary accident that has the high probably of becoming fatal.”
Local and state representatives were instrumental in bringing this safety device to Washington County during the upgrade to I41.