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Two Tractor-Trailers Blown Over On Manitowoc West Side’s I-43

Posted on Jun 30, 2011

The accident occurred at 11.35 a.m. last Wednesday, north of the Custer Street overpass and the intersection with U.S. 151. One of the semi-trucks was northbound and the other was southbound when a strong thunderstorm was moving through the area. Wind gusts up to 40 mph blew over the two trucks, blocking all four traffic lanes. Northbound traffic was detoured around the accident with southbound traffic passing on the shoulder.

Eric Johnson, 52, the driver of the southbound truck, was taken to Holy Family Hospital in Manitowoc with non-life-threatening injuries. The northbound truck driver, Dale C. Bierman, was treated at the scene, according to a Greenbaypressgazette.com report. The two truck drivers had been wearing their seat belts.

It may be surprising to observe how large trucks can be blown over in a storm. What happened may have been a combination of two factors:

  • The trucks were traveling with their sides facing the wind;
  • The trailers probably didn't hold any cargo.

This is of course a speculation on our part, but we have seen many truck rollover and jackknife accidents happen with empty trailers that are too light to remain stable on the road.