Some salvaged barn beams that weren't properly secured onto a trailer fell off, triggering two highway crashes that caused life-threatening injuries to a Shawano man in a bizarre series of events, authorities said Monday.
The incident happened about 2 p.m. Saturday on U.S. Highway 10 near County Highway G, and the man hauling the beams, William Porter, 75. of Vesper, was issued a citation for failure to properly secure a load, Portage County Chief Deputy Sheriff Daniel Kontos said.
Porter was driving his pickup truck westbound when "several" beams came loose and fell onto the highway, Kontos said
David Heup, 56, of Shawano, was behind Porter in a van and ran over one of the beams, causing a flat tire, Kontos said in a statement.
Heup pulled onto the right shoulder and was retrieving a jack from the rear of the van when a motorcycle driven by Daniel Smith, 40, of Schofield, also struck a beam, the chief deputy said.
Smith was thrown off and the motorcycle slid along the concrete and struck Heup, the investigator said. Passersby, including an off-duty West Allis policeman, administered life-saving measures to stabilize Heup before he was flown by helicopter to a Marshfield hospital.
Smith suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
The penalty for failure to properly secure a load is $200, Kontos said.