The Wisconsin State Patrol has concluded its investigation into a two-vehicle crash — with car fires and three serious injuries — that occurred at 10:42 a.m. on Sunday, May 30 in the westbound lanes of Interstate 94 near Lake Mills and Johnson Creek.
According to information provided by the Wisconsin State Patrol, its troopers were called to, “a multiple vehicle crash in Jefferson County on I-94, westbound, at mile marker 263. State patrol units, along with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, responded to the scene. Upon arrival, there were two vehicles on fire and it was determined that Med-Flight (helicopter) was needed, due to the injuries on scene.”
The State Patrol reported that, due to blockage from the crash and rescue measures, I-94 westbound lanes were closed for approximately 80 minutes.
According to Wisconsin State Patrol Sgt. Scott Jarvela, although injuries were “substantial” to three people in the crash, there were no fatalities. He also said that no citations were issued.
The State Patrol listed the driver of the first vehicle as being Mario Juan Zarate, 47. No addresses for those involved in the crash were provided.
Zarate sustained a serious injury, as did his passenger, Jennifer Ann Questell, 47.
The driver of the second vehicle, Melissa Marie Argenzio, 29, also sustained a serious injury in the crash.
Citations were not issued to either driver, according to Jarvela.
The State Patrol crash narrative stated that Zarate was eastbound on I-94 near mile marker 263 when witnesses said they noticed him driving aggressively, cutting in and out of traffic, and tail-gating other vehicles.
“(Zarate) accelerated and lost control of his vehicle, crossing over from the left lane into the grassy median, and into oncoming westbound traffic. The Argenzio vehicle was westbound and when she saw Zarate’s vehicle coming toward her, she slammed on the brakes in an attempt to avoid a crash, but was unsuccessful.”
Jarvela said the twin car fires that occurred were caused by the intense impact of the collision.
Assisting agencies included the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, as well as Lake Mills Fire Department and EMS.