The scene was horrific after a recent single-vehicle fatal crash on Interstate 90-94.
The truck accident left one man dead and another injured after a semitrailer crashed onto Mirror Lake in south-central Wisconsin.
The Wisconsin State Patrol said the 43-year-old truck driver killed was from the Bronx, New York.
He'd been driving the tractor-trailer with a seat belt on, according to a State Patrol statement.
A 27-year-old male passenger from Pennsylvania survived the crash; he was not wearing a seat belt. He sustained non-life-threatening injuries.
The State Patrol said it didn't yet know the cause of the crash, but that alcohol wasn't involved.
The big rig was headed west on the Interstate when it veered into the median near a bridge over Mirror Lake. The truck slammed through the median. According to the Wisconsin State Journal, the vehicle then "went over a cliff and fell onto the ice."
A piece of the truck remained wedged in bridge pillars; the tractor broke free of the trailer and "plunged into Mirror Lake." The remains of the trailer were scattered across the ice above.
As many readers are undoubtedly aware, truck accidents are among the deadliest types of crashes, mainly because two factors are typically involved: enormous weight and high speeds.
Unfortunately, many truck drivers get behind the wheel without enough rest. A 2006 study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found that drivers of large rigs typically got a mere five hours of sleep during their main sleeping time. That's significantly less than the seven-plus hours most adults need in order to be fully alert.
The study also found that most truck drivers are not good judges of just how awake, alert and fit they are for driving. They overestimated their ability to function at a level necessary for safe driving.
Resource: Wisconsin State Journal: "State Patrol identifies trucker killed in crash into Mirror Lake": January 18, 2011