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Semi Slams into Tow Truck (WI)


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MILWAUKEE — A semitruck slammed into a tow truck that was at the scene of a separate crash Monday morning in the Mitchell Interchange.



It happened about 11:15 a.m. and closed all the southbound lanes of I-43 through the interchange for more than four hours.


The semitruck cab separated from its base after striking the tow truck, and the trailer flipped on its side blocking all three lanes of traffic, Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office said.


The tow truck slammed into the wall, and the driver was trapped in the cab of the vehicle.


He was extricated by the Milwaukee Fire Department and taken to an area hospital with serious, non-life-threatening injuries.


The semitruck driver, Ali Z. Abubakar, and his passenger had cuts to their head and arms and were able to exit the flipped semi on their own, the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office said.


They were transported to an area hospital by ambulance.


The truck was hauling 6,000 pounds of light fixtures and holds a valid commercial driver's license from the state of Ohio.


He was issued two citations: Driving too fast for conditions, which has a fine of $224, and failure to keep vehicle under control, which is a fine of $224.


RESOURCE LINK with video


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‘This is extreme:’ Ray’s Towing manager, semi passenger speak after wreck in Mitchell Interchange


MILWAUKEE -- Shocking dash camera video showed the moment a semi barreled into a tow truck near the Mitchell Interchange on Monday, Aug. 26. The tow truck driver suffered a broken leg, two broken ribs, and a cut above his eye, but he was expected to be OK.


Based on the extensive damage to his truck, his co-workers said he shouldn't have survived.


"This is extreme," said Mark Salentine, manager at Ray's Towing. "You would expect a fatality."


Salentine said his employee, Joe Altenhofen, was responding to a call along I-94 at Layton Avenue when a semi passing by the scene smashed into the driver's side of his truck.


"He reached for his door handle," said Salentine. "Then, could see in the mirror the trailer of the semi coming at him. The next thing he knew, he was being woken up on the floor of his truck by the Milwaukee County sheriff's deputies."


The damage to the cabin of the semi was equally extensive.


"There was a windshield here," said Yassine Hamid. "This is broke out,."


Hamid was inside at the time, asleep in the back bed, while his co-worker, Ali Abubakar, drove.


"I close this one, and then other side, this one," Hamid explained.




Hamid said Monday's downpour caused their wheels to slip on the wet pavement.


"I go straight on my side, and I hit with my shoulder," said Hamid.


Both men were treated for minor injuries.


"This was an avoidable accident," Salentine said.


The semi driver, Abubakar, was cited for driving too fast for conditions, and failure to control his vehicle -- $224 each.


Salentine said he was hopeful the crash would serve as a wake-up call for all drivers of the dangers tow truck drivers face on the side of the road.


"We're really people, seriously putting our lives on the line out there, and it shouldn't have to be that way," said Salentine. "You should be slowing down and moving over."


A statement from Ray's Towing, Inc. FB Page:


I just want to Thank God for looking out and taking care of our driver. Life is precious and I pray that people would just look at what is right in front of them AND MOVE OVER FOR EMERGENCY SERVICES.


The crash involving our truck and, more importantly, our driver was horrific. We don't want to make any more or less out of this terrible tragedy, but some misinformation is already spreading.


Just to clarify, yes, our driver, Joe, thankfully survived, but he is far from what anyone would describe as "okay." He escaped death, but not injury. As currently diagnosed, he has a broken leg, two broken ribs, a laceration above his eye as well as various cuts and bruises. And we shouldn't forget how such an event can affect more than the body of the injured person, not to mention their family and other loved ones.


So, along with your good thoughts and prayers, please be sensitive and accurate when sharing this cautionary tale. Thank you.













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First, our thoughts and prayers go out to Joe for a full recovery and to everyone at Ray's that this terrible accident may have caused a lot of mental anguish to. Thankfully it was not fatal. It is really frustrating when Hamid said the down pour caused their wheels to slip. How about slowing to a safe speed for the road conditions and slowing down for the flashing lights and move over if you can. I believe Wisconsin has a slow down move over law. If they do the driver of that semi should be charged and convicted to the full extent of the law. In my opinion when a serious accident such as this one, that caused injury, the driver that caused the accident, should have their drivers license permanently revoked. Everyone be safe out there and always watch your back. Jack Herman, Wildwood Service, Gages Lake, Illinois

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100% the semi drivers fault and the trucking companys .


he was not driving correctly for conditions and accident seen .


and did you guys see his BALD drive tires in the news video min mark 1:33 you can see them in the first post and the guy said the rain caused our truck to loose traction .


sorry the tow truck operator got hit . glad he is going to make it . glad he checked his mirror before exiting the cab .

Edited by sweetk30

ex-tow truck operator . ex- auto mechanic . just a nice guy trying to make a living and enjoy life .

1987 k30 chevy 1ton 4x4 built from scratch truck as my daily driver - work truck .

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That is horrific!!! Glad the operator will survive physically. That semi driver should be charged with attempted murder!!! He was driving WAY to fast for conditions!!!! His company should fire him and no one else should ever hire him to drive anything again.



Our thoughts and prayers go out to the operator, the company, family and friends.

George - - Moore's BP
We'll see you on down the road

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"His company should fire him and no one else should ever hire him to drive anything again."


That seems like the proper response from the company. However, that is not likely to happen as long as there is litigation or pending litigation. That be admitting 100% fault of the driver and the company. This will likely be settled out of court but that is likely where it is headed. Lawyer Up, seems Ray's Towing is proactive and should be on top of this one. Not every Tow Company knows what to do and many past the damage to their equipment leave the driver on his own to settle.

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