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Icy conditions on I-94 cause crashes and vehicle runoffs in Wisconsin


By Gregory Lemos, Paul P. Murphy and Judson Jones, CNN

Icy road conditions have caused vehicle crashes and runoffs on Interstate 94 in west-central Wisconsin on Thursday morning, and one set of incidents closed a long stretch of the highway for hours, police said.

About 40 vehicles, including tractor-trailers, were in crashes on the highway Thursday morning, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation said.

I-94 was closed in both directions for a roughly 25-mile stretch from the Oseeo area to the Black River Falls area for hours because of a set of wrecks “involving a number of semi-tractor trailers and passenger vehicles,” the Wisconsin State Patrol said.

The initial crash there — a tractor-tailer that settled on a medium and was on fire with two passenger vehicles underneath — happened around 5:45 a.m., the state transportation department said.

“Several secondary crashes and run-offs occurred in the general vicinity,” the department said.

No deaths have been reported, and while some people were taken to hospitals, injuries were minor, state patrol Lt. Tim Weiberg said.

Freezing rain had caused icy conditions along I-94 from Menomonie to Black River Falls, and crashes and run-offs happened as a result, the transportation department said.

Mike Olsen, who was driving on I-94 near Osseo and recorded video of a crash site there, told CNN of “super-icy road conditions.”

Olsen’s video showed tractor-trailers in a median and a large fire on the highway.

The transportation department said it anticipated lanes in both directions would reopen Thursday afternoon.

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