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Witnesses see semis explode during deadly I-94 crash in Racine County

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Posted at 10:10 PM, Jun 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-19 23:12:19-04

RACINE COUNTY, Wis. — Smoke and fire filled I-94 Wednesday morning just south of County Road K in Racine County. A chain reaction crash leaves two people dead, two other seriously hurt and the highway shut down for hours.

A man who lives next to the expressway said right away he knew something wasn’t right.

“Around 10:45, 11 o’clock, the whole house shook and I’m going that’s not normal,” said Devontra Thomas.

He went outside to look.

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“As I got out here the truck was coming over the edge, head first. Right when it hit, the whole front cab just exploded on the bottom,” said Thomas.

On the highway, the scene even more devastating. Our own veteran photojournalist John Drilling was on his was home from work when he just missed becoming part of the crash.

“I saw a semi jump over the median wall and into the traffic that was right in front of me,” said Drilling.

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The Racine County Sheriff’s Office said the a semi going south changed lanes and hit construction barricade. He then over corrected and hit the median and shoved those barriers into the north bound lanes. That caused three vehicles to crash and then another semi behind them to veer off the road.

Drilling said he was shaken up, but when he saw people around him rendering aid he too jumped into action. He grabbed his camera.

“A man that ran up to the crash and pulled one of the victims out of his car and dragged him away from the fire. That was an extremely brave thing to do,” said Drilling.

The sheriff’s office did not release the condition of the two people hurt. They were transported to area hospitals.