Fatal wreck that shut down all lanes of US 45 SB cleared, lanes reopen to traffic

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office has confirmed one person was killed in a two-vehicle crash that shut down all lanes of US 45 southbound for hours on Tuesday, September 30th.

It happened just before 2:30 on US 45 SB near North Avenue.

"It was just a loud screech and a bang," Robert Porter said.

A stretch of US 45 SB was shut down for five-and-a-half hours -- reopening just before 7:45 p.m. Tuesday.

"I can see how the accident on the highway can cause a lot of trouble," Jaxs Goldsmith said.

The Sheriff's Office tells FOX6 News the individual killed in the crash was the male driver of a vehicle that rolled over. We're told that driver was ejected from the vehicle.

The Sheriff's Office says a passenger in the vehicle that rolled suffered serious injuries -- but that person is expected to survive.

What caused the crash remains under investigation.

Working the scene of the crash was a huge undertaking -- as more than 100 vehicles, including semi-trailers had to be turned around and moved off of Highway 45 following the crash. Those vehicles and other vehicles headed southbound on US 45 were forced to exit at North Avenue.

The closure of Highway 45 caused extensive backups Tuesday afternoon and evening. Bob Gutierrez with the DOT explained to FOX6 News the impact this crash made near Mayfair Mall -- as traffic was being forced off the highway.

"On Highway 100 for instance, we've put an adaptive signal system in -- a real-time signal system. If we put a lot more traffic on Highway 100, those systems will give the green to that corridor and keep traffic moving along," Gutierrez said.

On a normal day, more than 100,000 vehicles pass through the area surrounding Mayfair Mall.

"It's one of the biggest corridors we have in the state," Gutierrez said.

Traffic, timing and existing road construction projects all contributed to a highway headache that kept many on the road a little longer than they expected.

"It was kind of a perfect storm," Gutierrez said.

"Especially with the construction going on and how you have to go from three lanes to two, it`s always signs of an accident waiting to happen," Porter said.

In situations like this, drivers can call 5-1-1 to get traffic alerts. The DOT's traffic alerts are also available online HERE.

Monitor FOX6 News and FOX6Now.com for updates on this developing story.