A serious car crash and resulting fire shut down Hwy. 16 in La Crosse Tuesday night.
The three-car crash happened around 6:15 p.m. in the northbound lanes of Hwy. 16, about one mile south of Gillette Street.
La Crosse Fire Dept. Division Chief Jeff Murphy says five people were taken to the hospital in three ambulances.
La Crosse police say one vehicle was traveling southbound on Highway 16 when it attempted to maneuver, lost control and went into the northbound lane of traffic. The vehicle struck a northbound vehicle head-on. The striking vehicle then spun and caught on fire.
"The vehicle was fully involved and some bystanders had pulled the driver from the vehicle. In addition to that, a retired La Crosse firefighter was on scene and was able to help. With this many patients, that immediate help was important," said Murphy.
The driver, who was wearing his seatbelt, was transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. He was charged with reckless driving-causing bodily harm.
Police say all four people who were in the vehicle that was hit were transported with non-life-threatening injuries. They were all wearing their seatbelts.
The names of the crash victims have not been released yet.
Traffic was backed up more than a mile in both directions. Police shut down a stretch of Hwy. 16 and rerouted traffic down La Crosse and Gillette Streets for about 2.5 hours. The highway reopened to traffic at about 8:45 p.m.