Snow-covered roads and over-confident speeding drivers combined caused accidents involving two Milwaukee County patrol cars in a single weekend. Sheriff's deputies were on-the-job, working to secure scenes where accidents had already taken place when oncoming vehicles slid out of control on snowy surfaces.
Most of the deputies at the highway crash scenes escaped serious injuries and subsequent workers' compensation benefits by quickly leaping over traffic barriers to safety. In one of the two mishaps on Interstate 894, a deputy was hit by a 44-year-old driver and hospitalized with a neck injury.
Officials say snow-slicked roads caused some of the weekend accidents but added that drivers' negligence played a role, too. Multiple traffic citations were issued to drivers for traveling too fast for conditions.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation caught a video of the first squad car crash early Saturday morning. Milwaukee deputies responded to a one-vehicle accident around 2 a.m. and witnessed a second accident in the same area near the overpass at Cleveland Avenue.
Three deputies and the accident victims were outside a squad car at the crash site when a Jeep smashed into the patrol vehicle. The officers and victims on the southbound roadway jumped the interstate median to get out of the way.
The next day, a high-speed accident on Interstate 894 required response from a Milwaukee sheriff's deputy. The officer was sitting in her patrol car when a second vehicle crashed into it. The deputy was hospitalized and treated for a non-life-threatening neck injury. None of the drivers, whose vehicles slammed into the sheriff's department cars, was seriously hurt.
Sheriff's department officials are dismayed at the destruction of the patrol cars, but are grateful that injuries were kept to a minimum. Under different circumstances, the on-the-job accidents could have far worse.
Source: fox6now.com, "Two incidents involving sheriff's squad cars in two days," Henry Rosoff, March 4, 2012