DOT stresses importance of safe winter driving following Zoo Interchange overpass plunge

NOW: DOT stresses importance of safe winter driving following Zoo Interchange overpass plunge

MILWAUKEE, WI (CBS 58) – A man is recovering after his truck plunged off a Milwaukee County overpass on Saturday, Feb. 6. The truck fell 70 feet before crash-landing on the freeway below.

The brutal cold can create dangerous driving conditions.

“As far as snow removal for the sides of the roads, that’s one of the most important parts of our jobs,” says Eddie Santiago, director of highways for Milwaukee County.

The department has the most road and highway coverage in the state.

“Usually the snow piling up on the sides of the road, the thawing and freezing aspect of that -- those snow piles, tend to cause slippery roads, especially on the -- closer to those emergency lanes,” says Santiago.

In order to keep up with demand, the department has hired 30 temporary employees, all CDL drivers for first and third shift hours. But they also ask drivers to do their part and pay attention to the road.

The latest incident at the Zoo Interchange has Santiago raising issue.

“Yes, I believe that’s still under investigation,” says Santiago. “It’s important to go at a safe speed on those turns, watch your tire thread and make sure you’re looking out for slippery roads or shiny spots on the road.”

They’re conditions that can lead to major accidents like in December of 2016, when a driver lost control of his pickup truck on the Hoan Bridge and landed on the ground below. The driver lost his life.

“Be safe out there,” says Santiago. “Keep a safe distance from all drivers, especially around those bends and turns, and avoid those shiny spots on the road if you see them and watch your speed.”

The man involved in Saturday’s crash survived, but the extent of his injuries are still unknown.

The Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office did not offer an update on his condition.

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