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Inclement weather leads to one fatality and 26-vehicle crash

On Feb. 19, ice, snow and gusting winds led to poor driving conditions and scores of accidents, including a 26-vehicle crash, in Winnebago County. Most of the auto accidents involved only minor injuries, but one of them resulted in a fatality. In that early morning crash on State 26 in Nekimi, a box truck driver headed north lost control and struck a sedan traveling south. The sedan driver died at the scene, and the truck driver reported no injuries.

The local sheriff's lieutenant cited snow blowing off the nearby lake as the most likely cause for the 26-car pileup, which occurred on U.S. 41 north at the Lake Butte des Morts bridge. Three individuals involved in the accident were taken by rescue workers to the hospital. None of them suffered life-threatening injuries.

A Wisconsin State Patrol sergeant issued a reminder to motorists of their responsibilities during inclement weather. He noted that drivers must allow additional room between vehicles, use more caution and adopt slower speeds in response to such conditions. The large number of accidents underscores the importance of added safety precautions. Besides the 15 accidents responded to by the sheriff's office, the Oshkosh Police Department reported another 27.

Whether the roads are clear or icy, drivers have an obligation to stay alert and change their driving habits to match the weather. When they fail to take the necessary precautions, it can lead to serious injuries and even death as well as a police investigation's determination of fault. Victims of accidents sometimes require compensation beyond the typically meager amount provided by insurance. A lawyer with experience handling auto accidents may be able to help victims and their family members receive compensation for property damage, medical expenses and funeral costs.

Source: Green Bay Press Gazette, "Authorities respond to 20 car crash on U.S. 41," Jennifer K. Woldt, Feb. 19, 2013

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