Smart Car fire on I-41 leads to fender bender

Courtesy: Fond du Lac Fire/Rescue
Courtesy: Fond du Lac Fire/Rescue(WBAY)
Published: Jul. 29, 2019 at 8:17 AM CDT
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A car fire on I-41 in Fond du Lac County led to a secondary crash during the morning commute.

The remnants of the Monday morning car fire on I-41 are still visible on the highway. Authorities don't know what caused the Smart Car, with one person inside, to start on fire, but the driver was able to get out safely.

Crews shut down one lane of traffic and pulled the car to the far right shoulder. They were able to safely extinguish the flames.

It's what happened as crews were putting out that fire, however, that has authorities concerned.

"While crews were working on the scene, one car failed to reduce their speed, ended up rear-ending another vehicle ahead of the accident," says Jim Knowles, assistant fire chief with Fond du Lac Fire Rescue.

Multiple agencies responded to the interstate Monday morning, placing squads ahead of the fire scene to warn drivers of the incident. Despite all of that, an inattentive driver still caused a fender bender.

Knowles says, "It's difficult for crews to fully concentrate where they almost have to have someone at least spotting for other crews while they are working on scene."

That's why authorities are using this incident as reminder of not only the "Slow Down, Move Over" law but also the use of common sense.

Sgt. Jeff Bonack with the Fond du Lac County Sheriff's Office adds, "When there's a traffic stop or an incident out on I-41 things can get kind of snarled and we just want people to know that you need to pay attention if you see squad cars ahead or fire/ems, you should already start slowing down way before the actual site or scene."

While Monday's incident didn't lead to any injuries, that is not always the case.

Bonack adds, "There's only so much we can do. We try to really throw resources at situations like that because we know how difficult 41 can be, but try and help law enforcement and emergency vehicles out there also."

The fire department

It shows intense flames and heavy smoke coming from the vehicle.