By James Raia
Richard Oliver, the pickup truck driver who lived after his vehicle plunged 70 feet over a railing on I-94 in Wisconsin, has been cited for three violations.
Oliver’s crash, which was filmed by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and became a viral video, was controversial. But it also showcased human kindness.
While Oliver remained in a local hospital, the video was reviewed very often and it was determined Oliver was at fault. He has been cited with: operating while his license was revoked, for unreasonable and imprudent speed (77 mph), and failure to keep the vehicle under control.
Reckless pickup truck driver cited
The wreck happened shortly before 10 a.m. Feb. 6. Video from the crash shows the moment the pickup truck lost control. A snowbank on the roadway acted as a ramp.
Deputies found the driver, Oliver, conscious and breathing. He is now recovering from injuries suffered in that incident.
The crash report indicates Oliver entered the ramp from W I-94 to S I-41 at 77 mph – faster than posted speeds of 55 mph. His truck hit the right barrier wall then rode the snowbank.
After that impact the truck then crossed the lanes of traffic and struck the left barrier wall and snowbank. That caused further damage to the truck.
After striking the left barrier wall the truck crossed back over the lanes of traffic. It then struck the right snowbank and wall again. The truck then went up the snowbank and over the wall.
“There was just too much snow on the side of the road that once the tires got into like two feet of snow there’s no controlling a vehicle of any kind,” said Oliver. He suffered a broken back, a broken leg and other injuries.
The truck landed upright on the right shoulder of the westbound lanes of Interstate 94.
Oliver is the father of a 6-month-old. He said he is grateful to the two people who came to his aid, including a man who helped him make a phone call.
James Raia, a syndicated columnist in Sacramento, California, publishes a free weekly automotive podcast and electronic newsletter. Sign-ups are available on his website, www.theweeklydriver.com. He can be reached via email: firstname.lastname@example.org