Semi driver in Columbia Co. crash arrested on OWI charges

Courtesy of Columbia County
Courtesy of Columbia County(NBC15)
Published: May. 24, 2018 at 7:14 PM CDT
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The driver of a semi-truck that rear-ended a school bus with students is being accused of driving while intoxicated.

Wayne Murphy, 42 of Indianapolis, Indiana was the driver of the semi truck that struck a school bus in Columbia County Wednesday. He was arrested on five OWI causing injury charges, according to the Columbia County Sheriff's Office.

A spokesperson with the Wisconsin State Patrol said Murphy was driving erratically before the crash.The investigation is ongoing.

The Wisconsin State Patrol said it happened on I-39/90/94 around 10:15 a.m. on the northbound side at mile marker 122.4 in Columbia County near Lodi.

A preliminary investigation has revealed that the school bus which was transporting students from a private Milwaukee area school was headed northbound when the driver, 51-year-old Yvonne Y. Gayton of Milwaukee, pulled onto the shoulder of I-39 because of a mechanical issue.

A spokesperson from UW Health said they has received a total of 9 patients from the crash. Two of the injured were taken to The American Center site, and seven were taken to UW Hospital. Their conditions are being assessed.

A spokesperson with SSM Health said 11 people are being treated at SSM Health Emergency Center in Sun Prairie.

In a statement posted to Facebook, representatives from Hope Christian School says, "One of our schools buses was in an accident this AM in rural WI on the way to an end of the year field trip. While very scary, our staff and students were blessed by urgent first-responders, local medical attention as well as the kindness and generosity of Deforest Public Schools. Please keep our Semper scholars in your prayers for quick recovery and safe travels to reunite with loved ones."