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Medical examiner’s report indicates speed may have been a factor in crash that killed 2 in Milwaukee

Joan and Peter Garton

Joan and Peter Garton

MILWAUKEE — A report released by the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office Wednesday, April 17 indicated a vehicle containing two people who died at the scene of a crash Monday, April 15 in Milwaukee conducted a U-turn just prior to the collision. Milwaukee police previously said it was the driver of the striking vehicle who performed the U-turn.

Peter Garton, 65, and his wife, Joan Garton, 66, were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash Monday evening, just before 7 p.m.

The medical examiner’s report said the couple’s vehicle was struck on the driver’s side after performing the U-turn. Peter Garton was driving, and Joan Garton was a passenger.

According to the report, the vehicle driven by Peter Garton was headed west on Congress, and at 80th Street, it appeared Garton “made a U-turn in the middle of the intersection and was struck by another vehicle that was also traveling west on Congress.” The striking vehicle, a Ford Mustang, contained three occupants.

Two killed in crash near 80th and Congress

Two killed in crash near 80th and Congress

Milwaukee police in their initial release Monday evening, April 15 said: “Unit 1 was conducting a U-turn when it struck Unit 2. Unit 2  was occupied by a 65-year-old male and a 66-year-old female from Milwaukee. Both individuals from Unit 2 suffered severe injuries and unfortunately did not survive the accident. This investigation is ongoing. MPD has the driver of Unit 1 in custody.”

The medical examiner’s report noted it’s possible the driver of the Mustang was speeding, and was unable to avoid the crash. According to the report, “further calculations and investigation” was being done to determine whether the driver of the Mustang was speeding. Police were also looking into whether any surveillance cameras captured the vehicles involved in the crash.

The medical examiner said after the crash, one of the occupants of the Mustang fled the scene on foot. The driver was taken to the hospital.

Two killed in crash near 80th and Congress

Milwaukee police told FOX6 News on Tuesday, April 16: “The driver of the striking vehicle was questioned and released regarding this accident. The driver is cooperating with the investigation and MPD continues to investigate this incident.”

The ME’s report said the Mustang had no license plate, and suffered significant front end damage.

The Gartons’ vehicle suffered “extensive driver’s side intrusion of at least four feet,” with the driver’s seat broken and bent, the frame of the vehicle pushed in, and disruption to the brake and accelerator pedals, dashboard, steering wheel and hood.

Both Peter and Joan Garton were wearing their seat belts, the report said. The report ruled their deaths accidental — a result of multiple blunt force injuries.

FOX6 News on Tuesday spoke with those who knew Peter and Joan Garton — who said the retirees reconnected and were married last year.

Lake Country Playhouse

Lake Country Playhouse

They spent much of their time at the Lake Country Playhouse in Hartland, with Peter Garton performing on stage, and his wife, Joan Garton, in the audience, cheering him on.

The tragedy occurred just two minutes from their home.

Those at Lake Country Playhouse said their next production, Mama Mia, scheduled to open the first week of May, would be dedicated to the Gartons.

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