Search for Paper Led to Crash that Killed 3 Wisc. Teens
It began with an attempt to get the attention of the driver of another car. The Wisconsin State Patrol revealed Wednesday that three New Richmond teens died as a result of distracted driving.
Seventeen-year-old Zachary Zajec, Joshua Goodrich, and Thomas Wanless, and 16-year-old Jordan Johnson were headed home from Woodbury Monday, July 30.
They were traveling on eastbound Interstate-94 east of Hudson. There was construction ahead. Traffic was heavy. A semi in their lane was stopped.
The Dodge Durango the boys were in slammed into the back of the semi. Goodrich and Johnson died at the scene. The driver, Zajec, died a week later. Wanless suffered minor injuries.
On Wednesday, the State Patrol said that, through interviews with witnesses, they'd learned the boys were trying to get the attention of the driver of a car that had passed them.
"In an attempt to find paper, the rear seat passenger, Jordan Johnson, unfastened his seatbelt while at the same time the driver searched the center console," said State Patrol Sgt. Brian Erickson. "These distracted actions resulted in the Durango striking the rear of the stopped semitrailer at highway speed."
The driver of the semi was not hurt.