A driver in the Milwaukee area is lucky to be alive after his pickup skidded on a highway interchange, was launched over the edge on a ramp of built-up snow and ice, and landed on the highway 70 feet below.
The accident happened Saturday on I-94 in West Allis, Wisconsin, but WISC-TV didn't obtain the Wisconsin Department of Transportation video until Monday.
The video shows that the pickup hit a snowbank on the right shoulder of the interchange flyover. The piled-up snow basically defeated the purpose of the ramp's barrier wall.
When Milwaukee County Sheriff's deputies arrived, the pickup was sitting upright, the driver was conscious and breathing, and two motorists were rendering first aid. The driver was taken to a hospital.
Road crews operating plows and giant snow blowers try to prevent the buildup of snow on ramps, but, "The biggest risk with that is the melting and the freezing creates sort of a ramp, a natural ramp," said Milwaukee County's Director of Highways and Maintenance Eddie Santiago.
"The snow is hard as concrete so a lot of our equipment is out there, basically chipping away at the, literally chipping away at the snow and ice to get that removed," Santiago said.
Four years ago, WISC-TV reported, the driver of a small pickup died in a similar crash when he vehicle went over the edge of a ramp that had built-up snow.