Close call on US-45: Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Deputy nearly struck by Illinois driver

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MILWAUKEE COUNTY (WITI) -- A Milwaukee County Sheriff's Deputy was nearly struck by a car on US-45 at Burleigh St. Monday morning, February 2nd.

Officials say the incident happened shortly after 9:30 a.m. Deputies were dispatched to a disabled vehicle facing the wrong way on northbound US-45 at Burleigh Street. The driver had spun out while trying to avoid a truck that drifted toward her vehicle -- and ended up in the median distress lane.

A deputy positioned her squad to protect the scene -- and her emergency lights were activated. As the deputy approached the vehicle, the driver began to open her door. Officials say at that same time, another vehicle travelling at a high rate of speed, lost control and careened between the squad and disabled vehicle. That vehicle struck the median wall and crashed head-on into the first car.

Officials say the striking vehicle came within inches of striking the deputy. The 24-year-old woman in the first car was ejected by the force of the impact. She landed on the freeway -- and suffered serious injuries to her face and other injuries. She was taken to Froedtert Hospital.

The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office reports 61-year-old Larry Ferries of Illinois now faces potential misdemeanor charges of Reckless Driving Causing Bodily Harm, which carries a penalty of up to one year in jail. If the victim’s medical condition shows broken bones or more serious internal injury, the charge may be amended to a felony charge of Reckless Driving Causing Great Bodily Harm, with up to 3 ½ years in prison possible upon conviction. Ferris was also cited for failure to move over for an emergency vehicle.

The "Move Over Law" requires drivers to move over one lane or slow down when passing emergency responders and highway vehicles stopped on the freeway.

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1 Comment

  • Popcorn

    Just to clarify WI’s “Move Over Law,” WI Statute 346.072 requires drivers to move over upon approaching a stopped emergency or roadside assistance vehicle, leaving at least one open lane between. If, and ONLY if, drivers aren’t able to move over (e.g., no other lane to move to or the other lane is occupied by another vehicle), THEN drivers can merely slow down to safely pass. It’s not an even choice – ultimate objective is to move over and leave space between.

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