2011 August

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Wisconsin Family Looks for Cause of Patriarch’s Bike Fatality

For a Wisconsin man who loved to cycle, safety was a priority, according to his family. So they were shocked when a car accident claimed his life. They’re still trying to understand how it could have happened.

He was apparently riding his bicycle in the opposite direction of traffic in Oak Creek one recent July evening. He reportedly did that on purpose, thinking it was safer on the road on which he was riding because it made him more visible to motorists. Sadly, he was involved in just the kind of collision he had hoped to avoid.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, an 18-year-old motorist struck the man from the opposite lane, causing his fatal injuries. But the man’s family has gone to the scene of the accident several times in an attempt to come up with how it could have happened. They’re still apparently coming up empty.

The man’s daughter says safety was his first priority, and there is no chance he could have veered over into the other lane, as the medical examiner suggested. She says there are no skid marks and the point of impact doesn’t make sense for that scenario. That would mean the motorist who struck him would had to have crossed all the way across the opposite lane.

How that could have happened is what they are trying to figure out. The teenage motorist who struck him gave a “very vague” statement of what happened, according to the boyfriend of a family member. Since the investigation is ongoing, police have apparently declined to release the accident report or statements from witnesses.

A reconstruction of the accident is planned by the State Patrol, and perhaps that will lead to some answers.

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Family seeks answers in Oak Creek bike fatality,” Tom Held, July 28, 2011

 

Drunken Driver Puts Wisconsin Construction Workers in Danger

“When you have an impaired driver, you’re never too sure what’s going to happen after the fact,” commented a Wisconsin State Patrol trooper after a drunk driver crashed into a Department of Transportation vehicle at a construction site last week. After crashing into the truck, the drunk driver fled the scene, putting several construction workers and others on the road in danger of being hit.

The incident was reported around 3:30 a.m. on July 29. It is believed that the 21-year-old man who was driving the vehicle at the time of the crash was under the influence. The man was passing through a construction zone near Mooreland Road in the westbound lane of Interstate 94 when he hit the painting truck. The driver proceeded to drive several miles away from the incident before his arrest.

Although no one was seriously injured in the motor vehicle accident, troopers are reminding all drivers on our Wisconsin roads to always be alert of their surroundings, road conditions and other vehicles, especially when passing through construction zones.

Not all motor vehicle accidents can be prevented in Wisconsin, but there are several laws in place in order to help prevent the number of accidents on our roads and to hold drivers accountable in the event that they injure or kill someone in a crash.

For example, speed limits are often reduced in construction zones in order to protect construction crews as they work next to heavy traffic. However, one Wisconsin State Patrol trooper commented after last week’s crash that many drivers fail to acknowledge the reduced speed limits and continue to zip past workers at 65 mph. Construction zones often have narrow lanes and if a driver is not paying attention while speeding, he or she could easily lose control of the vehicle.

If construction crews or vehicles are pulled over to the side of the road, drivers are required by Wisconsin traffic laws to move over one lane if they can safely do so in order to avoid an unnecessary collision.

Individuals who fail to follow Wisconsin’s traffic laws not only risk getting a ticket if caught by law enforcement, but they also put the lives of others in danger because of their own negligence.

Source: WISN.com, “Accused Drunken Driver Strikes DOT Painting Truck,” 29 July 2011

 

Stanford Law Offices, S.C., provides legal services to cities in Wisconsin including Milwaukee, Appleton, Beloit, Eau Claire, Fond du Lac, Green Bay, Janesville, Kenosha, La Crosse, Madison, Oshkosh, Port Washington, Racine, Sheboygan, Stevens Point, Waukesha, Wausau and West Bend, and in Milwaukee County, Brown County, Dane County, Kenosha County, Marathon County, Outagamie County, Ozaukee County, Racine County, Rock County, Washington County, Waukesha County and Winnebago County.