2 dead, 9 hurt after multiple crashes on I-41 at 441

A series of crashes began with a single-car rollover. Then traffic backed up.
Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 2:36 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 22, 2022 at 10:29 PM CST
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correction: The initial crash that started the series of events will be investigated by the Fox Valley Metro Police Dept.

APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - The Outagamie County Sheriff’s Office says two people died and 9 were hurt in a series of crashes near Interstate 41 and Highway 441 Sunday afternoon, beginning with a crash involving a drunken driver.

Just before 3:30 p.m., a single car rolled over on northbound I-41 at 441. The driver was seriously hurt and had to be extricated from the wreckage.

That crash caused a backup on northbound I-41. The driver of a pickup truck swerved to avoid a vehicle that was slowing down. The truck went into the median ditch and did a complete roll, ejecting a male passenger. The truck came back onto the roadway, on its wheels, and collided with a trailer. The woman driving the pickup truck, who was pregnant, suffered life-threatening injuries and was airlifted to a hospital. Her unborn child died. Her passenger was seriously injured and transported by ambulance. The sheriff’s office says the woman was arrested for operating while under the influence of a controlled substance.

The northbound and southbound lanes of I-41 were both shut down for the woman’s medical helicopter rescue. There was another crash involving 5 more vehicles during this backup, killing one of the drivers and resulting in numerous more injuries. The sheriff’s office says there were several more, minor crashes following the first crash at 3:30.

No names or hometowns of the people involved in the crash were released.

A stretch of the interstate was closed until 10 p.m. for cleanup and crash investigations.

The Fox Valley Metro Police Department is handling the initial OWI investigation.

The Wisconsin State Patrol is handling the DUI crash involving the pickup truck.