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2016 story: Freeway crash involved Hudson motorist, semi, third vehicle

Emergency crews tended to a semi-trailer that crashed Wednesday afternoon in westbound traffic on Interstate 94 at Hudson, just east of the St. Croix bridge. (RiverTown Multimedia photo by Mike Longaecker)

The interstate crash that snarled traffic for hours Wednesday in Hudson involved three vehicles including a semi-trailer, according to new information released by the Wisconsin State Patrol.

The crash, which occurred at 1:40 p.m. immediately east of the St. Croix River bridge on I-94, happened after a passenger vehicle driven by 85-year-old John D. Breault struck a damaged section of roadway. That caused a chunk of concrete to dislodge and strike the vehicle's undercarriage, sending it careening out of control, according to a State Patrol news release.

The semi, driven by 28-year-old Justin M. Fritsch of Hutchinson, Minn., switched lanes in an unsuccesful effort to avoid Breault's Ford Taurus. The semi rear-ended the Taurus, overturned and was left blocking all three westbound lanes of traffic.  A third vehicle, driven by 58-year-old Paynesville, Minn., resident Steven F. Vaske, struck the semi's trailer.

None of the three drivers was injured.

Passing traffic was contained to the shoulder of the road until 3:47 p.m., when two traffic lanes were opened up. 

All vehicles were cleared from the crash scene at 4:12 p.m. Troopers said westbound traffic was backed up for about six miles during the delay.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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