It took Wisconsin firefighters at least 6 hours to clean up a huge traffic mess after a five-vehicle accident. It happened on Friday, July 21 during evening rush hour on I-94.
Crews at the Johnson Creek Fire and EMS Department received the call at 3:30 p.m. Johnson Creek Wisconsin is located mid-way between Madison and Milwaukee with I-94 the main corridor between the two metro areas. The accident caused a large dump truck and a waste-oil fuel sludge collection tanker to leave the westbound lanes, crossing over the median and the eastbound lanes before landing on their sides south of the highway.
A small late-model car sustained significant damage, and two other vehicles sustained lesser damage. Johnson Creek Fire and EMS Chief Tim Whitham called for Milwaukee's Flight for Life to be dispatched and mutual aid from three other area community departments including Fort Atkinson Paramedics, Watertown Fire Department Paramedics and Ixonia EMS.
Johnson Creek's department arrived with one pumper, a rescue/extrication equipment squad, a 4x4 pickup grass rig and an EMS rig. A tactical attack rig arrived later when more personnel were requested. Large amounts of fuel spilled from both of the large trucks. Firefighters on the scene used foam to suppress potential ignition. Additionally, a payload of more than 3000 gallons of collected fuel sludge had to be pumped from the tanker to another tanker truck before it could be moved.
Because of the fuel spill and the nature of the tanker payload, a representative from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources was on hand to supervise containment and clean-up. One victim was transported to Watertown Memorial Hospital and another was taken by Flight for Life to Froederdt Hospital in Milwaukee. A third person was treated at the scene.
The multi-department call caused already slow moving traffic to stop intermittently, but traffic began to return to normal when, after six hours, emergency services crews finished and cleared the scene at 9:30 p.m. The Jefferson County Sheriffs Department, Wisconsin State Patrol, the Johnson Creek PD along with the Jefferson County Highway Department were on the scene to provide support and traffic control. The Wisconsin State Patrol initiated an investigation.