'It was crazy!' Truck driver from Illinois cited after fire shut down NB I-94/41 at Ryan Road

MILWAUKEE COUNTY -- All lanes of northbound I-94/41 were temporarily shut down at Ryan Road due to a vehicle fire Monday afternoon, April 20, which led to big backups during the early evening commute. The "all clear" was signaled shortly after 4 p.m.

Officials with the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office say around 2 p.m., deputies responded to a pickup truck that was on fire. MCSO officials said an Illinois driver lost control of his pickup -- striking the crash cushion, a semi and then the median before the flames erupted.

"When he came to a stop, his vehicle started on fire," said Catherine Trimboli, MCSO captain.

Thankfully, he and his passenger made it out OK.

"It was just crazy!" said Kayli Kudulis of Union Grove. "We weren't really sure what had happened."

Kudulis was headed to Denny's for dinner with her family when she found herself stuck in major traffic.

As first responders worked to extinguish the flames, all lanes of I-41/94 northbound were shut down at Ryan Road. Drivers said they saw black smoke from miles away.

"Glad that everyone was OK! I was worried about the occupants of those vehicles," said Kudulis.

What was left of the truck was towed away.

"He was issued a citation for failure to control his vehicle and driving without a license," said Trimboli.

The incident cause backups to 7 Mile Road. Trimboli said sheriff's officials appreciated everyone's patience amid the backups.

FOX6 News asked whether speed or drunk driving may have played a role in this incident, and we were told the driver simply lost control.