By Brandi Makuski
Southbound motorists on I-39 were held up following three different car accidents on Sept. 18, as traffic slowed to a crawl and local emergency crews responded in force.
The first accident occurred at about 2:40 PM on Sunday afternoon in a construction zone near the Little Plover River just north of County Hwy B, according to Portage Co. Sheriff Mike Lukas. The two subsequent accidents occurred at about 3:15 PM and 3:20 PM on the same stretch of highway, but closer to Crossroads Commons, he said.
All the accidents were caused by “slowing and stopping related to traffic merging in one lane,” he said.
“It was an absolute nightmare out there with traffic backed up the way it was,” Lukas added.
“The first accident had no injuries; the second accident, produced emergent injuries in one motorist, and the third accident also had an injury but was non-emergent,” Lukas said, adding both victims were transported to Ministry St. Michael’s Hospital for treatment, and both are expected to recover.
“There was actually some life-saving measures done by a passerby, who made a tourniquet until our officers got there and took over. There was severe bleeding from the arm,” Lukas said. “The kid was just driving by. There’s a big kudos for him.”
The 19-year-old man, who asked to not be identified, is currently enrolled in the Explorers program at the Stevens Point Fire Dept. — which SPFD Chief Bob Finn confirmed on Wednesday — and is studying Fire Science in Appleton.
Finn said the man made a makeshift tourniquet out of his own belt until paramedics arrived.
All Metro Fire units — Stevens Police, Plover and Hull — responded to the accidents, along with the Portage Co. Sheriff’s Office, police from Stevens Point and Plover, Portage Co. Ambulance Service and Wis. State Patrol.