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Family of good Samaritan killed in Jefferson County crash is suing over his death

Jason Smeltzer
Posted at 6:17 AM, Dec 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-29 07:17:29-05

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Wisc. — The family of a Good Samaritan killed after stopping to help at the scene of a crash is suing over his death.

TMJ4 News first told you Jason Smeltzer's story back in August. He was struck and killed along with two other men on I-94 in Jefferson County.

Smeltzer's family filed suit on Tuesday against the semi driver who hit him and one of the other men who was killed that morning, saying in part that man was towing a trailer that had defective brakes and improper safety chains, which led to it releasing from the hitch.

The semi driver later struck that trailer in the road then crashed into the three men along the highway.

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Just before 4 a.m. on Aug. 18, a truck lost control and crashed. A second vehicle hit that truck’s trailer shortly after.

He was a father, gone in an instant. Just 41 years old. Smeltzer was from the Eau Clare area on the western end of the state.

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Jason Smeltzer

Two others that Smeltzer was trying to help, Harold Ostrander and Thomas Meier, were all killed. Their deaths mark three of just 13 fatalities in the Jefferson County stretch of I-94 in the past 10 years.

The family previously set up a GoFundMe to initially help with funeral costs. Any additional aid they say will go towards his two kids left behind, ages 11 and 13.

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