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Fatal accident closes I-43/94 for several hours in Milwaukee

Posted at 5:02 AM, Nov 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-01 13:07:37-04

MILWAUKEE -- A wrong-way driver has died after crashing into a semi in the northbound lanes of I-43 on Milwaukee's High Rise Bridge, according to the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office.

The driver was going southbound in the northbound lanes of I-43 around 3:45 a.m. without headlights on when they hit the semi on the bridge, the sheriff's office says. Both vehicles caught on fire.

The semi driver told deputies that he saw the wrong-way driver coming "directly at his semi," but he was unable to swerve out of the way due to a car in the lane next to him. He was able to escape the cab of his semi and was taken to the hospital with pain to his ankles and knees.

An off-duty MPD officer tried to remove the wrong-way driver from their car, but was driven back by the flames, according to the sheriff's office.

The location where the driver got on the freeway the wrong way is not yet know. 

The crash forced law enforcement to close all of the northbound lanes and two southbound lanes of I-43 near National Avenue for nearly eight hours -- causing massive backups during the morning rush hour. 

All lanes of the freeway reopened around 11:40 a.m.   

Stay with TODAY'S TMJ4 for further updates on this developing story.