GREEN BAY - March 12, 1990 is a day Dan Lauder will never forget.
"It was pea soup thick for one minute and five minutes later itwas blue skies," Lauder told FOX 11. Lauder was driving to workover the Tower Drive bridge that foggy morning.
"When you were coming up to the bridge it was just a wall offog," Lauder recalled. "You never thought it was gonna be that badonce you got into it. But once you got into it you couldn't see 10or 15 feet."
Lauder's truck was one of the 52 vehicles involved in thepile-up. Three people died and more than 30 were injured in thecrash and ensuing explosions. Lauder said he learned a lot from theexperience.
"I don't know, just how lucky we were and how good the emergencycrews were just to get there in that time," he said.
One problem firefighters had back in 1990 was getting water upto the fire on the bridge. Nineteen years later, firefighters putthe lessons they learned into practice.
"They have a ladder truck with a big ladder stage on the streetbelow underneath the bridge," said
Lt. Nick Craig from the Green Bay Fire Department. Craig saidthe ladder truck hooks up to a fire hydrant and the water is pumpedup to the ladder to the bridge.
"Basically making it a fire hydrant type connection right thereon top of the bridge," Craig said. He added that crews could nothave put the fire out as quickly as they did without the water fromthe ladder truck.
"I can't believe how far down that is that they can pump or however they do it but that's impressive, very impressive," Laudersaid. He also said he's pleased to hear emergency crews learnedfrom the accident he was in. But he was also impressed 19 yearsago.
"I think they did a wonderful job for what they had to work withand what they could do," Lauder said.
Since that accident in 1990, the fire department has used theladder trucks to get water to the bridge a few other times. Thereare hydrants on the street below the bridge on both sides of theriver. That way crews can quickly get water anywhere on thebridge.
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