Interstate shut down by fatal crash

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TOWN OF TURTLE — A head-on collision on Interstate 39/90 killed a Rockton man and closed the roadway for several hours Saturday morning.

Jacob Weibel, 27, of Rockton, was killed in a crash at 4:38 a.m. Saturday. The son of Randy and Joylyn Weibel, he graduated as part of Hononegah High School’s Class of 2007.

Weibel was employed as a corrections officer by the Winnebago Juvenile Detention Center and was an advocate for troubled youth, according to the obituary at Honquest Funeral Home (www.honquestfh.com).

Weibel, the son of Hononegah girls varsity basketball coach Randy Weibel, was a standout in baseball and basketball at Hononegah High School.

A lanky 6-foot, 6-inch right-handed pitcher, Weibel was 17-4 as a varsity pitcher with 124 strikeouts in 122 total innings over three seasons.

On the hardcourt, Weibel played two seasons on the varsity team. He scored 141 points as a junior on a 23-8 team, hitting 36 three-pointers. As a senior, he scored 228 points and converted 40 three-pointers for a 22-9 squad.

He went on to play college baseball, first for Olney Central College and then for McKendree University. He battled a series of arm injuries throughout his collegiate career. He graduated from McKendree in 2013.

I-39/90 between Beloit and Janesville remained closed until about noon Saturday after a head-on collision between Weibel’s Toyota Camry and a semi truck near County Highway S/Shopiere Road in the Town of Turtle. Because the semi contained methanol and hydrogen peroxide, the Rock County Hazardous Materials Response Team was on scene.

Janesville EMS attended to Weibel, the driver of the Camry, who was pronounced dead at the scene. The Camry had been traveling northbound in the southbound lane of I-39/90 when it struck the southbound semi-tractor.

The semi-tractor cab became fully engulfed in flames, although the driver of the truck was able to escape the cab. The driver said the trailer contained containers of methanol and hydrogen peroxide. The Town of Turtle Fire Department put out the cab fire before it reached the trailer, but the heat disrupted the integrity of the trailer’s contents.

Wisconsin State Patrol requested assistance from the Rock County Sheriff’s Office, Town of Turtle Fire Department, Janesville Fire Department and MD-1.

Additional units from Janesville Police Department, Beloit Police Department and Town of Turtle Police Department assisted by shutting down the interstate between Janesville and Beloit and implementing the DOT alternate route system.

The Southern Wisconsin Emergency Preparedness Team (SWEPT) and Beloit Township Fire – Rehab 28 assisted with on-scene rehabilitation for emergency responders. The Rock County Highway Department assisted with traffic management and the Rock County Hazardous Materials Response Team assisted with scene assessment and hazard evaluation.

The Beloit Police Department provided on-scene mobile command and radio support via their Incident Command vehicle. The Rock County Sheriff’s Office – Emergency Management Bureau provided incident management support throughout the event.

Personnel from Hazchem Environmental Corp from Addison, Illinois, responded to the scene and secured the hazardous chemicals in the trailer prior to it being removed from the interstate.

The Wisconsin State Patrol Accident Reconstruction Team responded to the scene along with the Rock County Medical Examiner. The crash remains under investigation by the Wisconsin State Patrol Accident Reconstruction Team.

An obituary for Weibel appears on page A6.

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