Couch falls off pickup truck, creates mess in Marquette Interchange

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A couch led to a crash on the freeway over Labor Day weekend -- and authorities say a driver's actions put others at risk.

It happened Saturday, August 30th around 6:00 a.m.

Milwaukee County Sheriff's officials say the couch wasn't properly secured in the pickup truck's open bed. When it fell onto I-43 southbound near the Marquette Interchange, Sheriff's officials say the pickup truck's driver stopped in the middle of the freeway -- and caused a serious crash.

A spokeswoman with the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office tells FOX6 News the couch ended up in the far left lane. The driver of the pickup truck stopped in the middle lane.

A passing driver expressed his concern via a call to 911.

"That poor guy's gonna die, I think," the caller said.

Shortly after that 911 call was made, another driver slammed into the back of the pickup truck. The driver who struck the truck also called 911.

"I was involved. I struck a car parked in the middle of the road," the caller said.

Both vehicles were totaled.

We're told the driver of the striking vehicle was treated and released after complaining of chest pain due to the airbag deployment.

A Sheriff's deputy used the "push bumper" on his squad car to shove the pickup truck onto the shoulder.

Sheriff's officials say the estimated collision speed was about 50 miles-per-hour.

The driver of the pickup truck from which the couch fell received three citations: for stopping/parking on the roadway, not having insurance and spilling his load.

NOTE: Listen to two 911 calls made just after the couch came off the truck.

The Sheriff's Office is reminding all motorists that items placed precariously on the roof of a car, or unsecured in the bed of a pickup truck, that might stay in place on city streets at slower speeds, are susceptible to falling off at freeway speeds.

Authorities say if an item falls from your vehicle into lanes of traffic, do not attempt to retrieve it from the freeway traffic lanes.   Pull over to the distress lane or nearest freeway exit, stay in your vehicle, and call 9-1-1.  Keep your seatbelt on while you wait for emergency responders to arrive and safely close lanes and remove the item.

If you are not equipped to safely secure the items you need to transport, hire a moving company.

The cost will be lower than the tickets, damaged vehicles, injury and loss of life that can occur when unsecured items cause a crash.