New dash cam video shows the moment when a semi-truck in a snow plow crashed into a pile of 48 cars killing a 37-year-old woman in snowstorms on Wednesday.
The accident occurred in Polk, Wisconsin off Interstate 41, about an hour northwest of Milwaukee.
The dashcam video shows a truck driving in front while snow conditions and poor visibility are driving on the highway.
Suddenly, it encounters a semi-truck that has turned sideways and blocks several lanes and several stationary cars. The driver appears to be trying to brake and the truck starts to dodge.
Swerving to narrowly avoid at least three overturned cars, the truck collides with a snow plow, which rolls over and down in a ditch. The truck has since been badly damaged in the crash, ripped apart by the impact.
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A traffic jam of 48 cars in Wisconsin left a snow plow in a ditch on Wednesday
However, he eventually hit the snow plow, turning the vehicle on its side
According to FOX6, Washington County coordinators began taking calls about a freeway accident around 11:15 a.m. local time.
While no serious injuries were reported during the initial calls, more calls came in at 11:30 AM.
Ultimately, a 37-year-old woman from Trenton, Tennessee who has not yet been identified, was killed in the crash.
Six others were injured and treated in local hospitals. Another 26 were evaluated and treated at the crash site, said CBS 58.
Two Fight for Life helicopters were sent to the crash, along with firefighters and ambulances from a number of nearby towns.
“It was clear that some people were in worse shape than others and I kept triaging,” emergency room nurse Laura Calp, who came to the rescue of the disaster, told FOX6.
Dashcam video from a Tesla shows the scary moment when a semi collided with the snow plow
The semi-truck managed to avoid some of the already stopped cars due to the weather
William Van Aacken, who recorded the semi-truck crash on his Tesla dashcam video, said the dangerous whiteout conditions came out of nowhere and it didn’t even snow when he hit the road earlier.
‘The view was cut and then all of a sudden I saw the semi in front of me and then you saw things in the ditch on the left and the ditch on the right and then only the unfolding of the semi hitting the dump truck in front of me,’ said Van Aacken against WISN 12.
He eventually provided a copy of the video to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office to aid in their investigation of the accident.
A driver of another semi-truck also spoke to WISN 12 about the accident.
“Just everything, it all went so fast,” said Paul Wolf. ‘I was slowly slowing down and all that, but you couldn’t see anything. It was just a complete white-out. ‘
After the crash, authorities closed the road and drivers forced off the highway to prevent further accidents.
The truck bypassed a disaster that had apparently already started on Interstate 41
The crash was so severe that the truck ripped apart leaving debris scattered all over the road
Pictured: Another angle of impact moment that damaged the truck and snow plow
A bus company had to transport about 50 drivers to the nearby Pioneer Travel Plaza to get them out of the crash.
To clean up the accidents, trucks had to be towed out of ditches, wrecked cars were transported on low-loaders and a sweeper collected the debris.
There were at least 20 different crashes along Interstate 41 on Wednesday, caused by sudden bursts of snow and whiteout conditions that surfaced out of nowhere.
Around the time of the crash, the National Weather Service issued a statement about the potentially dangerous weather.
“Scattered snow showers and isolated thunderstorms will affect areas from Fond du Lac County to Walworth County and the east for most of the afternoon,” the NWS said at 11:18 a.m.
“The main concern with these snow showers is the likelihood that visibility will sometimes be significantly reduced to a quarter of a mile or less, creating dangerous driving conditions.”
While the sudden eruption of whiteout conditions was frightening, snow in April is not unheard of for Wisconsin.
FOX6 reports that two of Wisconsin’s largest cities, Milwaukee and Madison, each average about two inches of snow in April.
In Milwaukee, that average has risen to 3.7 inches per April in the past five years, with at least one snowfall in four out of five years.
In 2018, 25 inches of snow fell in Milwaukee in April, the highest number in recent years and the sixth in the city’s history.
The cold in Wisconsin is part of a chill sweeping across the country, with cities like Kansas City, Indianapolis and Detroit seeing record snowfall earlier this week.
On Wednesday evening, snow fell in parts of the central Appalachians, as well as in the eastern Great Lakes and northern New England.
Temperatures will drop below freezing in those areas on Thursday, with temperatures possibly approaching that point as far south as Georgia and Mississippi.
Temperatures in many of those areas are below typical averages for this time of year.
Many inland parts of the Northeastern United States will also face possible freezing temperatures from Thursday evening to Friday.
Accuweather reports that areas in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York and central New England are at risk for at least one day of frost through May.