“Trying to stay safe:” Construction zone accidents on the increase as summer travel peaks

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MILWAUKEE -- Construction zones are starting to look more like crash zones. We've seen several serious, even fatal, crashes in the past two weeks.construction zone crashes

Tuesday evening, all lanes were closed on I-41 at the Highway 145 exit. Tuesday evening, July 5th all lanes were closed for over an hour as crews worked to clear a crash scene.

Summer in Wisconsin means lots of family vacations.

William Dumovich, his wife and kids are on their way back from a trip up north. Like most drivers on I-41 this time of year, he knows summer also means construction season.

William Dumovich

William Dumovich

"Makes it a little nerve-wracking I guess when people aren't paying attention and you have that thing and people aren't letting you in, and everything's merging and you're just trying to stay safe," said Dumovich.

Wisconsin State Patrol says multiple serious crashes have been reported in construction zones along the interstate recently.

Jackson fire officials say nine were hurt in a crash involving three vehicles on I-41 southbound at Highway 145 on Tuesday.

Nine were hurt in a crash involving three vehicles on I-41 southbound at Highway 145

Nine were hurt in a crash involving three vehicles on I-41 southbound at Highway 145

Earlier on Tuesday, a man was killed when he rear-ended a semi near Highway 23 in Fond du Lac.

Fatal crash in Fond du Lac

On June 22nd, two people were killed in a similar incident in the same location.

Fatal crash in Fond du Lac County

Fatal crash in Fond du Lac County

"It's a horrible event to have that many fatalities at all, especially in such a short period of time in roughly the same area," said Sergeant Luke Newman, Wisconsin State Patrol. Luke Newman

Sergeant Luke Newman reminds drivers fines double when the orange barrels are out and workers are present.

"They are a bigger hazard because of lane restrictions, traffic flowing into a narrow area, they're constantly changing as well," said Newman.

construction zone crashes

construction zone crashes

Dumovich believes many of these dangerous situations on the roads are caused by people texting behind the wheel.

"It's very frustrating to see because you're endangering yourself and everybody else. Very frustrating," said Dumovich.

We've heard it dozens of times, but the Wisconsin State Patrol says it's especially important to follow in construction zones: slow down, increase your following distance, put down the cell phones and buckle up.

2 comments

  • Paul

    The reason is you have too many bad drivers still wanting to go 80 in a 50 mph zone. Too many folks think they can drive better than they really can. They are texting and on the phone and will NOT give an inch to let anybody merge. It is all about them.

  • Jim

    This stretch of I-41 has been under construction for 4 years. Took two years to put a culvert for a small creek near the Falls. Now with the resurfacing & cables another two years. When driving thru the Construction. Zone there is 10 miles of lane closures maybe two guys working & a few standing around holding a truck from rolling down the road. That’s what I hate about road construction just get after it & get it done.

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