NEW INFORMATION: Semi driver involved in crash on I-94 will be taken to jail

By: Meghan Kulig and Lindsay Alowairdi Email
By: Meghan Kulig and Lindsay Alowairdi Email
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- The WI State Patrol says the driver of the first semi involved in a crash on I-94 and Highway 37 Tuesday night will be taken to jail.

The driver was identified as 46-year-old John Fuller of Carteret, New Jersey. Troopers say he is being treated for non-life threatening injuries from the crash, and will then be taken to the Monroe County jail.

The State Patrol says Fuller left the scene of the crash in Eau Claire before officers got there and went to Tomah. They say Fuller's semi was traveling westbound on I-94 in the left traffic lane around 11:45 Tuesday night. The right lane of I-94 was closed due to construction work.

The semi reportedly left the road and went into the median ditch before going down the embankment, hitting a concrete retaining wall on Highway 37.

A second semi crash happened just an hour later, also on westbound I-94, in the area of the first crash scene. It went off the roadway and hit the guardrail, bringing it to a stop. Troopers say the driver of that semi is doing okay.

The Wisconsin State Patrol says it's a reminder that drivers need to be vigilant when driving in a construction zone.

There are many factors to consider in the crash, like narrow lanes, reduced lanes, the time of day and weather condition, but Sgt. Mike Marcks said drivers also have a responsibility to be aware of the roadway.

"The Department of Transportation assigns these construction zones, so we get plenty of warning, we use sign boards, other warnings for narrow lanes and it just comes down to the driver paying attention," said Marcks.

The DOT said there are around 200 signs in about a ten mile stretch of road. Four miles west and east of the construction zone, in both directions, traffic control signs including ones warning of merging lanes, single lanes, construction zones, speed limits and digital message boards can be found.

The speed limit in the construction zone on I-94 is set at 55 mph but Marcks said that is for good conditions.

"When it's dark out or when its raining, it kind of comes down to the driver to adjust their speed appropriately depending on what kind of vehicle their driving. Especially with the semis being larger vehicles and wider, these narrower lanes they need to take a little more precaution when traveling," said Marcks.

The State Patrol and Eau Claire Co. Sheriff's Dept. is still investigating what exactly lead to the two crashes.

But Marcks said when driving in a construction zone, there is no room for distractions.

Because the crash happened at night, no construction crew workers were on Hwy 37 or I-94.

"It could've been a very tragic event," said Marcks. "If this happened during the day and we had workers down on Hwy 37, someone could've been seriously injured or killed as a result of this. So that's why we want to stress to the motorists, not only for your safety but for the safety of the construction workers, to pay attention and obey all those traffic laws we talk about because they have families too and they want to go home at the end of the day."

The DOT said construction has resumed as in on schedule to be completed by May 22nd.

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The WI State Patrol says the driver of the first semi involved in a crash on I-94 and Highway 37 Tuesday night will be taken to jail.

The driver was identified as 46-year-old John Fuller of Carteret, New Jersey. Troopers say he is being treated for non-life threatening injuries from the crash, and will then be taken to the Monroe County jail.

The State Patrol says Fuller left the scene of the crash in Eau Claire before officers got there and went to Tomah. They say Fuller's semi was traveling westbound on I-94 in the left traffic lane around 11:45 Tuesday night. The right lane of I-94 was closed due to construction work.

The semi reportedly left the road and went into the median ditch before going down the embankment, hitting a concrete retaining wall on Highway 37.
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) --Sgt. Mike Marcks with the Wisconsin State Patrol says the driver of the first semi involved in a crash on I-94 and Highway 37 Tuesday night, identified as 46-year-old John Fuller of Carteret, New Jersey, is in Tomah.

Investigators say that semi, operated by Arnold Transport Service Incorporated of Tunnel Hill, GA, was traveling westbound on I-94 in the left traffic lane. The right lane of I-94 was closed due to construction work.

The semi reportedly left the road and went into the median ditch before going down the embankment, hitting a concrete retaining wall on Highway 37.

At last check, Sgt. Marcks said he expected Fuller to be back in Eau Claire to interview with the Wisconsin State Patrol. Investigators are still looking into how he ended up in Tomah after the crash.

A second semi crash happened just an hour later, also on westbound I-94, in the area of the first crash scene.

The Eau Claire County Sheriff's Department is investigating that crash because the Wisconsin State Patrol was short-staffed overnight.

The crashes closed all westbound lanes of I-94 at Highway 93, as well as Highway 37 in both directions from Short Road to County Highway B.

We're told both drivers are okay.

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The westbound lanes of I-94 are back open as of Wednesday morning, following two overnight semi crashes. Investigators are still, however, working at the scene. We have confirmed both drivers are okay.

The first crash happened just before midnight Tuesday. Police say a semi operated by Arnold Transport Service Incorporated of Tunnel Hill, GA was traveling westbound on I-94 in the left traffic lane. The right lane of I-94 was closed due to construction work.

The semi reportedly left the road and went into the median ditch before going down the embankment, hitting a concrete retaining wall on Highway 37.

Investigators say the driver of that semi left the scene prior to the officers arrival.

Troopers with the Wisconsin State Patrol confirm they have found that driver and are waiting to interview him.

A second semi crash happened just an hour later, also on westbound I-94, in the area of the first crash scene.

The crashes closed all westbound lanes of I-94 at Highway 93, as well as Highway 37 in both directions from Short Road to County Highway B.

We're told both drivers are okay.

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Crews are working to clear westbound I-94 after two overnight semi crashes.

The first happened just before midnight Tuesday. A semi traveling westbound on I-94 drove off the overpass and crashed onto Highway 37 below. This was in a construction zone.

A second semi crash happened just an hour later, also on westbound I-94, in the area of the first crash scene.

The crashes closed all westbound lanes of I-94 at Highway 93, as well as Highway 37 in both directions from Short Road to County Highway B.

Crews were able to clear the second semi by about 3:00 a.m. Police say that driver is not hurt.

No word yet on the condition of the first driver. Stay with WEAU as we continue to monitor this story.


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