Sunday, September 19, 2021
Sunday, September 19, 2021

Wisconsin truck driver miracle! He survives 70-foot fall

By James Raia
How scary is winter driving? A melting snowbank and freezing conditions on a freeway ramp could have cost a Wisconsin truck driver his life on February 6.

A camera operated by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation captured the truck’s crash on film, just after the driver, Richard Lee Oliver, 34, lost control.

A Wisconsin truck driver survived a 70-foot fall.
A Wisconsin truck driver survived a 70-foot fall.

The dramatic footage also documented a miracle. The red pickup truck plunged 70 feet after plowing into the snowbank and tumbling over the barrier.

Two drivers came to the man’s aid following the wreck on west I-94 just east of Interstate 41 in the Zoo Interchange. The single-vehicle accident victim was transported to a Milwaukee hospital by firefighters with non-life-threatening injuries.

Wisconsin truck driver alive, well

A preliminary investigation reportedly revealed the driver lost control while on a ramp from westbound I-94 to southbound I-41, ultimately falling into the westbound I-94 distress lane.

“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 the vehicle of any kind,” Oliver said from his hospital room in an interview on “Good Morning America.”

The crash video details the truck falling 70 feet to the road below as cars pass by. It appeared to land backward, on its wheels, avoiding passing vehicles.

Oliver suffered a few broken bones and trauma, but he’s expected to make a full recovery.

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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: james@jamesraia.com.

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Steve
7 months ago

I’m a Wisconsin driver (pickup truck) and my take on this is driving TOOOOO fast! And hitting a snow pile on an overpass – come on man! I have been on this overpass also!

Sharon Boehmer
7 months ago

I know this interchange along with several others in the Milwaukee area, have even had my own near mishap on a freezing cold winter night. I would go back a couple of seconds and ask what caused him to lose control of the pick up truck? If you do any driving during the winter months in any northern state you know about snow, ice and freezing overpasses. There is more to the story before he went over the side than we are not being told, don’t blame the snow, the road or the barriers. I am glad to hear he will be OK.

Tommy Molnar
7 months ago

The heading says “Wisconsin Truck Driver”. I expected to see a truck, not a pickup.

Jeff
7 months ago

I live in Wisconsin and saw this on tv. Here’s what I don’t understand. We put these lanes of traffic up high why didn’t the state of Wisconsin build taller barriers to keep these vehicles from flipping off.

Tom
7 months ago
Reply to  Jeff

Looks like the plowed snow wall was the real problem.

Jeff
7 months ago
Reply to  Tom

Tom, rover v, and butch,
Not sure what the driver was doing. I know when i drive these overpasses I always try to slow down going around a curve. I’m wondering if the city of Milwaukee clears the snow banks on these overpasses when they have time? I still don’t understand why the state of Wisconsin built these overpasses without a higher safety barrier being these overpasses are pretty high up there. The overpasses in Green Bay, and Wausau, wi. are just as high.

Steve
7 months ago
Reply to  Tom

No – you avoid piles of snow especially on over-passes and SLOW down!

Roger V
7 months ago
Reply to  Jeff

They could build barriers high enough to prevent vehicles from climbing the occasional snowbank. Might be better though to focus on plowing practices so they don’t effectively create snow ramps at those spots.

Last edited 7 months ago by Roger V
Butch Qugley
7 months ago
Reply to  Jeff

Probably needs to slow down and maybe stay off the cell phone while driving!

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