"Who's responsible?" Family of man killed by semi debris on I-94 want answers


MILWAUKEE -- A family is looking for answers after a freak accident claimed the life of a Bookfield man. 51-year-old Jay Tichelaar was driving from Madison to Brookfield when the accident happened. A piece of a semi tractor trailer hit his SUV on I-94. His family is now searching for the semi truck responsible so they can have closure.

Jay Tichelaar

It was a routine drive home from work along I-94 on Monday, May 22nd ending in an unexpected tragedy.


"It was so sudden. It's really a shock and at this point a lot of disbelief," said David Leske, victim's brother-in-law.

Tichelaar was killed near Johnson Creek; the Brookfield man's Honda CRV struck a piece of a semi tractor trailer as it headed eastbound on the interstate just after 5 p.m.

"It's a hard time, very hard. It's devastating," said Leske.

The husband and father of two was taken in an instant.

Jay Tichelaar

"This is a tragic, trying time for the family," Leske said.

The pain is compounded by lack of answers.

Jay Tichelaar

Frank Pasternak

"We want to know what happened," said Frank Pasternak, attorney.

The family's attorney, Frank Pasternak, has questions. No truck or driver stopped and it's unclear what caused the piece of a brake drum to hit Tichelaar's windshield.

"We want to know which brake this came off of, what truck this came off of, who's responsible for maintaining this truck," said Pasternak.

Family is hoping someone knows something.

Jay Tichelaar

"We'd love to be able to find some answers," said Leske.

They now take comfort in memories and are optimistic they'll soon begin to heal.

"Was always so much fun to be around, just a joy for life," said Leske. "We're looking for some closure to this bad situation."

Again, the accident happened on Monday, May 22nd around 5:10 p.m. eastbound on I-94 near mile marker 270. That's just east of Johnson Creek. Anyone with information about what took place is asked to call the Wisconsin State Patrol or Attorney Frank Pasternak.