Wrong-way driver dies in fiery crash on I-41 in Winnebago County

Published: Nov. 17, 2020 at 9:48 PM CST
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OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) - UPDATE 11/18:

A driver traveling the wrong way on I-41 in Winnebago County died after crashing into a semi Tuesday night, according to the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Office says a passenger vehicle “improperly entered I-41 northbound, traveling southbound in the northbound lanes.” This happened just south of Highway 26 in the Town of Nekimi.

The vehicle crashed into a semi and caught fire. The Sheriff’s Office says it was a “near head-on collision.”

The driver of the passenger vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver’s name has not been released.

The driver of the semi was not hurt. The Sheriff’s Office says the driver is “fully cooperating with the investigation.”

A third vehicle hit debris from the first crash. The driver was not hurt.

The Sheriff’s Office was called to the scene at about 9:16 p.m. The northbound lanes of I-41 were closed for about eight hours overnight. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation says the highway reopened shortly after 5 a.m. Wednesday.

The Sheriff’s Office says the crash is under investigation.

Assistance was provided by the following agencies: Wisconsin State Patrol, Wisconsin DOT, Oshkosh Police Department, Oshkosh Fire Department, Town of Nekimi Fire Department, Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office, Fond du Lac County Highway Department, Winnebago County Highway Department, Winnebago County Coroner’s Office, and Expert Towing.

Action 2 News will keep you updated.


The Wisconsin Department of Transportation says a crash has caused all northbound lanes of I-41 in Winnebago County at WIS 26 to be closed.

511 stated there was a fire in the area of the crash, and a WisDOT camera picture shows a vehicle located on I-41 in flames.

A semi could be seen next to a concrete barrier, and another car on the other side of the roadway appeared to have damage.


An exact number of vehicles involved wasn’t immediately available.

It is unknown if or how many people were injured in the crash.

A live feed from that same camera wasn’t available shortly after the incident happened.

511 fire on I-41 near WIS 26
511 fire on I-41 near WIS 26(511 WI)

WisDOT stated the closure would be in effect for at least two hours at the time of their alert, which was sent at 9:30 p.m., and officials say an alternate route has been set up.

Northbound traffic will exit I-41 at County Highway N, head west on N to County Highway C, and then north on C to WIS 26.

Drivers will then head north on WIS 26 back to I-41.

The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office took to social media, saying drivers on southbound I-41 should expect delays as well.

(WBAY Staff)

Check back for more updates as they become available.

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