Negligence behind the wheel is not exclusive to drivers on busy highways or interstates. Carelessness also occurs on small town streets and rural roads. Such disregard for safety can lead to serious injuries and in even some cases, death.
Shawano is a Wisconsin city that hadn’t had a fatal car accident in over a decade. Until late June of this year, the worst events ever to happen in the area were house fires — which claimed two lives. Sadly, that all changed when a car accident claimed the life of one of the town’s senior residents.
Accidents were so foreign to the neighborhood that a visitor mistook the sound of the Saturday morning crash as a slamming garage door. Instead, the visitor actually heard the tragic collision.
Investigators reported that a 69-year-old Tomahawk woman failed to yield; entering the intersection southbound along Union Street. A car on Maurer Street driven by a 42-year-old Shawano resident smashed into other vehicle, critically injuring a 95-year-old woman passenger.
The elderly passenger was flown to a Neenah medical center, where she died the following afternoon. Neither driver was seriously hurt.
Shawano County’s third traffic fatality in 2012 is being investigated by Wisconsin State Patrol accident reconstruction specialists. Police have ruled out alcohol as a contributing factor.
City officials are planning to discuss whether stop signs could prevent future fatalities at Union and Maurer. According to local authorities the intersection is known for minor fender benders.
It is not unusual for smaller towns to have intersections that are marked with only yield signs in one direction. However, it is important for motorists to adhere to the traffic control signs in order to avoid potential accidents. It appears that this particular intersection is no stranger to problems. That said; it is disturbing that it has taken the tragic death of a woman for the city to take a closer look at the safety of the current signage.