WEST BEND— Heavy snowfall and cold temperatures contributed to multiple crashes in Washington County that involved dozens of vehicles and left one woman dead, authorities said Wednesday.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office said 20 different crash scenes were being investigated on Interstate 41 between County Highway D and State Highway 60. “Near white-out conditions” are likely a contributing factor, the sheriff’s office said.
The Wisconsin State Patrol said it was investigating a crash that involved about 30 vehicles near Arthur Road in Polk. A 37-year-old woman from Trenton, Tennessee, died from injuries in that crash. Six other people were taken to hospitals in West Bend for treatment.
The sheriff’s office said it was handling a separate crash scene south of Cedar Creek Road that had involved a total of 48 vehicles, of which 38 were damaged. Six people were taken to local medical facilities with varying degrees of injuries, and another 26 were evaluated and treated at the scene, the sheriff’s office said.
Rite Way Bus Service Inc. helped transport about 50 stranded motorists to Pioneer Travel Plaza, which acted as a reunification and investigative point for the incident, the sheriff’s office said.
Interstate 41 was closed between State Highway 28 and State Highway 60 on Wednesday evening as officers investigated and worked to clear the scene.