JACKSON COUNTY, Wis. — No fatalities or serious injuries were reported after a massive pileup and full interstate closure on I-94 in Jackson County Thursday morning, according to the Wisconsin State Patrol.
Traffic on I-94 in Jackson County was shut down in both directions after snowy conditions caused the massive pileup and long backups.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, freezing caused icy roadway conditions.
"The crash involved no fatalities or [serious] injuries," Wisconsin State Patrol's Northwest Region Eau Claire Post shared in a news release.
Wis. State Patrol Sgt. Sean Berkowitch told our sister station WEAU-TV that multiple crashes and icy conditions closed I-94 from Osseo in Trempealeau County to Northfield in Jackson County.
Berkowitch said that vehicles couldn't make it up the hills on that stretch of interstate, causing several vehicles to be stuck, according to WEAU. State Patrol and other first responders also responded to at least four more active crashes and one semi-fire.
Dramatic video shared with us by Mike Olsen shows multiple vehicles on fire early this morning as the pileup developed.
"Freezing rain caused icy / hazardous road conditions this morning," the Wisconsin State Patrol said on Facebook. "WSP is investigating a number of crashes/run-offs between mile markers 37-97."
Forty vehicles were involved in crashes along I-94, Wisconsin State Patrol says. That includes both the main pileup, and other secondary crashes.
When crews arrived they found a semi unit was in the median on fire with two passenger vehicles underneath.
According to WEAU, the detour for eastbound traffic is to exit at Highway 10 in Osseo, go south on Highway 53, and eastbound on Highway 121 back onto I-94. Those driving westbound should follow the reverse of those directions.
Ashley Wensel was driving across the county to visit family and was 20 minutes away from her home in Black River Falls when they came upon the crashes.
“It was black ice, glare ice and it was just a skating rink,” said Wensel.
She said they made the decision to jump the median, because they were afraid the flames would come closer to their vehicle.
“We were nervous and scared,” said Wensel.
Check back often for updates on this developing story.