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Staying safe on area roadways: no deadly crashes despite snow, cold

Posted at 6:27 PM, Jan 17, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-17 19:27:09-05
  • Video shows overturned semi truck on interstate 43 Wednesday afternoon
  • Wisconsin State Patrol responded to more than 100 calls Friday and Saturday
  • No deadly crashes have been reported despite snow and ice on roadways
  • One Howard auto body shop owner says he has seen about a dozen more cars than normal being brought into his shop each day this week

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

No deadly crashes have been reported to Wisconsin State Patrol since Friday's winter storm. It was the worst storm we've seen in six years. I'm Pari Apostolakos, your Howard neighborhood reporter. I spoke with a local body shop owner about how he is seeing more business since the storm.

In northeast Wisconsin from midday Friday through Saturday, Wisconsin State Patrol responded to a total of 107 calls.

Out of those,15 vehicles were damaged. Four crashes had injuries and 39 vehicles ended up in ditches. Much like this overturned semi truck on interstate 43 in Manitowoc County.

The cleanup for that crash shut down northbound lanes for hours Wednesday. The closure was planned after the semi crashed over the weekend.

Sergeant Dan Diedrich of Wisconsin State Patrol says no deadly crashes were reported locally or statewide.

"Do you think that's because Wisconsin drivers are getting smarter? Do you think it's just a fluke?"

"I don't think it's a fluke, I think it's a combination of factors. I think that Wisconsin motorists and anybody visiting the area are a little more cautious because of the road conditions."

Sgt. Diedrich has some tips for everyone to stay safe. He says to give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination, stay off your phone and don't get too close to other cars.

"Obviously with the ice especially that we're experiencing on a lot of the off-highway roadways, there's an increased stopping distance there. So, even though you're paying attention, you just don't have the capabilities to be making those sudden stops like you would have in the middle of June or July."

"Monday we had seven cars towed in here before I showed up."

Joe Tellijohn owns Auto Aces of Howard. He says over the past few days they have seen about a dozen more cars than usual every day. Mostly for dead batteries.

"In this cold weather, these single digits, first time this year having it, there's just a few failures that are taking place."

He says every car owner should stress test their battery before winter comes.

"Just try to do what you can preventatively before winter just to make sure you don't have something simple like that put you on the side of the road."

He says you should be able to see signs of many of the issues people are experiencing now during routine services, like an oil change.