Icy conditions cause dozens of crashes, closures of Wis. interstate

Published: Dec. 23, 2021 at 12:17 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 23, 2021 at 9:28 PM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU/Gray News) - A stretch of interstate was impassable for more than 13 hours in Wisconsin Thursday as icy roads caused multiple crashes and road closures.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation and Wisconsin State Patrol said freezing rain caused icy road conditions and emergency services are responding to multiple crashes, run-offs, and jackknifed semis, according to WEAU.

Authorities reported 20 people received minor injuries, and 40 vehicles were involved, including 15 to 20 semis.

Due to the crashes, sections of Interstate 94 were closed in what State Patrol called “long-duration closures,” but all lanes reopened around 8:30 p.m. local time for holiday travelers.

A multi-vehicle crash closed portions of Interstate 94 in western Wisconsin on Thursday, Dec....
A multi-vehicle crash closed portions of Interstate 94 in western Wisconsin on Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021.(Wisconsin Department of Transportation)

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers tweeted that there are dangerous road conditions across Wisconsin Thursday morning, writing “Please be safe and take good care if you’re traveling today.”

The State Patrol said it would take quite a bit of time to clear the interstate due to the number of crashes.

Some of the crashes included a semi trailer that was on fire in the median of the I-94 with two vehicles trapped underneath when the State Patrol arrived.

The passengers of all vehicles were taken by bus to a safe location, according to the State Patrol.

According to Wis. State Patrol Sgt. Sean Berkowitch, another factor is vehicles can’t get up the hills in part of I-94, causing several vehicles to be stuck.

The icy conditions are not limited to I-94. Other emergency response agencies in the area have reported highway closures, crashes and slide-offs.

Icy conditions and multiple crashes have closed a stretch of Interstate 94 in west-central...
Icy conditions and multiple crashes have closed a stretch of Interstate 94 in west-central Wisconsin.(Wisconsin Department of Transportation)

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office issued a statement saying that all roads in the county are covered in ice and slippery and asked people to stay home and limit travel.

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