A stretch of Highway 45 in Winnebago County, Wisconsin was closed for 8 hours on Tuesday after two accidents, involving a highway worker and motorcyclist who were seriously injured in accidents. The Winnebago County Sheriff's Department is investigating the two crashes.
At roughly a quarter to 1 on Tuesday afternoon, a semi-tractor going north rear-ended a Chevy Silverado in the left lane of Highway 45, just north of Highway 116. The crash caused the Chevy to get pushed into the work zone and hit a Winnebago County Highway Department worker. While the driver in the Silverado had minor injuries, the employee was airlifted by ThedaStar to get treated for serious injuries.
The crash caused Northbound Highway 45 to close, which resulted in another accident due to heavy congestion. Right after 2 P.M. a Chevy Blazer collided with a motorcycle going east on the Highway 116 intersection. The motorcyclist was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. The driver of the Blazer was uninjured.
The sheriff's department has not released the names of those involved in the accidents yet.
Luckily, Winnebago County Executive Jon Doemel says the highway worker is expected to survive his injuries.
“He’s a young guy who just started with us, expecting his first child in about a month. So, it could have gone a lot worse,” said Doemel.
“These are always really hard days, and we have to remember that our highway jobs crew is to make sure we have a transportation system that we can all get home safe to our families. I think it’s our job as citizens to make sure we’re moving over, slowing down and being careful so they can get home to theirs,” Doemel added.
Doemel met with county workers at the highway department right after the crash.
“Our crisis team from human services came over and we had a good discussion and we talked about it and it’s a hard day for everybody. They remember just how dangerous their jobs are.”
Northbound Highway 45 at Highway 116 was closed for the investigation. It reopened shortly before 9 P.M.