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Dump truck lightning strike may have contributed to Appleton I-41 jackknifed semi accident

Local News

APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – An accident on I-41 in the Appleton area had traffic at a near standstill Wednesday morning.

According to Wisconsin State Patrol, southbound traffic on I-41 was slowed due to heavy rains as well as an incident in the northbound lane that many passing drivers were taking note of.

As a semi was approaching the slowing southbound traffic he tried to move into the median to avoid hitting the vehicles in front of him. It was then the semi jackknifed across the southbound lanes into the right ditch.

The 27-year-old semi driver hit a pickup truck driven by 65-year-old man; no injuries have been reported.

State Patrol says the incident in the northbound lane that caught the attention of southbound drivers was a stalled dump truck that could have been struck by lightning.

Officers say the driver of the dump truck lost power after either being struck by lightning or a strike occurring in the very near vicinity. The driver told officers he saw a very bright light just before losing power.

The dump truck driver was taken to a local hospital for evaluation.

After about an hour and a half, Wisconsin DOT reported the incident cleared at 12:04 p.m.

A screenshot from a Wisconsin DOT camera shows the semi-trailer perpendicular to the flow of highway traffic.

According to WisDOT, the right southbound lane at mile marker 143, or Ballard Road, was closed as crews addressed the accident around 10:43 a.m.

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