Winter storm leads to multiple crashes with injuries in Kenosha, Racine counties

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PLEASANT PRAIRIE, Wis. (CBS 58) – One truck driver was transported to a hospital after two semis were jack-knifed, blocking all northbound lanes of I-94/41 northbound near the Wisconsin-Illinois border.

The accident showed just how dangerous driving conditions were on Tuesday, Jan. 26 during a winter snow storm in southeastern Wisconsin.

The crash happened around 8 a.m. and it was not until just before 10 a.m. that police were able to completely clear the scene. Traffic was at a standstill during that time with police diverting some traffic towards Russell Road in Illinois and others toward the weigh station off Frontage Road in Wisconsin.

The crash and conditions that hovered around southeastern Wisconsin for most of Tuesday worry truck drivers.

“You always worry, every day. But you just have to take it day by day and survive the winter like everybody else,” Jay Gregula, a truck driver of 20 years told CBS 58. Gregula said he saw many accidents during his drive Tuesday. He offered blunt advice for how drivers should proceed around trucks and semis.

“Stay away,” Gregula said. “I mean, just keep the distance.”

Wisconsin State Patrol echoed that warning. The agency adjusted its staffing in order to respond to the high number of traffic accidents. State Patrol told CBS 58 drivers need to be cautious in snowy conditions.

“Be patient, plan for some extra time getting to your destinations,” Sgt. Scott Jarvela said in a phone interview. “The plows are out, they’re doing the best jobs they can, just give them their room so they can do their work so everyone can get to where they’re going safely.”

Thomas Krohn, a snowplow driver for the village of Pleasant Prairie, told CBS 58 it had been a relatively quiet winter before the storm arrived.

“We just got slammed,” Krohn said. Krohn agreed drivers need to be extra careful around snow plows.

“Be aware of the snow plows, some of these trucks, it’s hard to back up and see everything especially when it really starts coming down like this.”

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