Fond du Lac man killed in Germantown freeway crash

The backup on northbound U.S. 41/45 at a crash there in Germantown. Photo: Melissa McCrady

Fond du Lac man killed in Germantown freeway crash

By Jon Byman with Jay Sorgi. CREATED Nov 9, 2011 - UPDATED: Nov 9, 2011

GERMANTOWN - Germantown Police said that they have identified the man who died in a 10-vehicle crash on U.S. 41/45.

Jeffrey Vis, 46, was killed in the crash involving two semis and eight other vehicles on Tuesday morning.

Vis, who was from Fond du Lac, was driving southbound on the freeway when he was killed.  He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Germantown Police Chief Peter Hoell says people involved in the crash probably didn't have much time to react.

"There may have been drivers that had no idea that anything was going to occur maybe had no opportunity to even react to it," Hoell said on Newsradio 620 WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Morning News."

Investigators know that a car going northbound lost control.  It crashed with a semi.  That semi went barreling through the median and into oncoming traffic.  The truck smashed into another semi and seven more cars before everything came to rest.

What authorities will trying to figure out now is why the initial car lost control and crashed with the semi.  Investigators are downloading data from computers in the vehicles involved.  They're also combing through witness statements.

Hoell says weather likely was a factor.  But to what extent, they're not sure.

Seeing the twisted metal left behind by the grinding crash, Hoell says, "that could have been by far much much worse."

One man was killed and six were taken to local hospitals.  All but one victim has been released.

The portion of the freeway where the crash happened has a grass median.  There is a cable barrier, but the truck plowed right through it.

"The cables are very effective for cars, but the semi just went right through.  The fact the the semi was fully loaded with milk certainly didn't help the situation.