July 9, 2012: Overturned semi-truck slows Monday morning traffic on I-94
The crash of a semi-tractor and trailer in Hudson Monday morning snarled traffic on Interstate 94 for more than an hour.
At 8:40 a.m., an eastbound County Concrete rig driven by Ronald Oldenberger, 64, of Eau Claire, sideswiped a second eastbound semi-truck, veered into the center median wall and overturned.
The Mack tractor came to rest with the driver's side door on top of the median wall, while the trailer fell over the wall and lay on the westbound side of the freeway.
The accident happened a short distance west of the Carmichael Road interchange, about a mile and half east of the St. Croix River.
Hudson Fire Department and St. Croix EMS & Rescue personnel had to free Oldenberger from the cab, an operation that took some time to complete. Oldenberger was taken directly from the scene to Regions Hospital in St. Paul by a St. Croix EMS ambulance. His injuries were described as non-life threatening.
Authorities at the scene said witness accounts made it appear that Oldenberger may have experienced a medical problem prior to the crash.
A law enforcement officer said Oldenberger was able to move his body after the accident, but appeared disoriented and ill or injured.
A number of law enforcement and rescue agencies responded to the accident, including the Hudson Police Department, St. Croix County Sheriff's Department, Wisconsin State Patrol and an engine from the Lower St. Croix Valley Fire Department in Lakeland, Minn., which assisted with traffic control.
Both east- and westbound traffic was backed up for several miles by lane closures associated with the crash.
A Jerry's Towing heavy duty wrecker and crane arrived on the scene by 9:15 a.m. and the wreckage was cleared by about 10:40 a.m., the State Patrol reported.
Oldenberger's semi-tractor was pulling a dry material tanker trailer.
The State Patrol said the other truck involved was a 2008 Great Dane tractor driven by Ronald L. Fivecoat, 43, from Douglas, Wyo.
Fivecoat wasn't injured. His truck reportedly had a flat tire but little other damage.
Both drivers were wearing seatbelts. The crash remains under investigation.