Eyewitness Gives Account Of Overturned Semi That Spilled Ethanol In Township Of Beaver Dam

(Beaver Dam) We have additional details about Wednesday’s semi crash that spilled a highly flammable material in the township of Beaver Dam. The accident occurred on Hemlock Road between Highway 151 and County Road A just before 9am. Justin Morris, owner of Third Heaven Martial Arts in Beaver Dam, says he lives near the area and was driving just behind the Peterbilt semi-tractor.

The semi clipped the south ditch just a little bit and as the driver tried to re-correct, Morris says (quote) “I saw right away that the semi’s gonna go…its gonna go.” He says he pulled his phone out to get a video but it was (quote) “crazy seeing it” and he forgot to hit record. The semi struck a culvert then overturned.

Morris says his initial reaction was to get out of his vehicle and run towards the driver to check on his safety. He soon realized though the semi was hauling a dangerous liquid that was pouring out from the trailer. Morris says he ran nearly all the way to the semi before noticing it was filled with ethanol. He says he paused for a second, not knowing what to do, and in that moment the semi’s driver climbed out and together they ran away.

The semi’s driver, a 59-year-old man from Endeavor, was uninjured but Morris notes he was understandably in some shock. He says he called 911 when he first approached the overturned vehicle and emergency services arrived quickly. Morris notes that police were driving into the scene very fast. Together, Morris and the semi driver ran towards law enforcement and told them to back away because (quote) “it’s possible that somebody driving through [the ethanol] could cause a spark or an explosion.”  

Nearby homes were evacuated during cleanup efforts, which took roughly 10 hours. Morris says they were not removed from their residence but were without power for most of the day. He says their lights came back on around 6pm.