Youthful pranks sometimes can go dangerously awry. Sheriff’s deputies in Ozaukee County are searching for a group of three to four teenagers believed responsible for what law enforcement officials say easily could have been a fatal truck accident. Three tractor-trailers and a pickup collided on Interstate 43 after the teens allegedly threw cups filled with water from a bridge into traffic.

Investigators say that felony criminal charges are likely to be filed if the teens are caught, not just for the property damage caused, but for reckless endangerment as well. Possible fines of $10,000 and prison terms exceeding three years could be applied for property damage charges. If intent to injure is proven, penalties would be more severe.

Deputies have a cloudy description of the three to four males seen pelting highway traffic with water cups from an overpass. Police are searching for a dark-red, extended cab pickup bearing a green Monster Drink decal on the side window.

Law enforcement officials say the water-filled cups came from a local restaurant. Patrons supplied deputies with descriptions of the group of boys. One was described as wearing a knit hat. All of the suspected teens were believed to be in the 15-to-18 year age range.

The truck pileup happened on a weeknight along Interstate 43 near the Cedar Beach Road exit in Belgium. The Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Department did not elaborate on the amount of damage that was caused in the four-vehicle accident. Part of the interstate was closed to traffic for a time while cleanup crews removed the wreckage.

Injuries to the drivers and any passengers involved in the crash were not addressed directly in reports by sheriff’s department investigators, although published reports concluded that no severe physical harm took place.

Source: Port Washington-Saukville Patch, “Update: Teens Who Tossed Cups Drove Trucks Sporting Monster Sticker,” Lyssa Beyer, Aug. 24, 2011