Janesville77°

Icy road blamed in man’s death

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Gazette Staff and Associated Press
February 18, 2008
— A Janesville man was killed Sunday night after freezing rain created treacherous driving conditions.

Around 9:45 p.m., the 24-year-old driver lost control of his Chevrolet Cavalier on Highway 59 near Milton, over-corrected and slid sideways into the ditch. The vehicle flipped onto its side and smashed into a utility pole, snapping it in half.


The man was pronounced dead at the scene of blunt force trauma to the head. Icy road conditions and speed were factors in the crash, according to the Rock County Sheriff’s Department.


The man’s name was being withheld until relatives were notified.


Rain also caused widespread flooding in Janesville, said John Whitcomb, the city’s operations director.


Crews were out “literally all day” salting and sanding roads and clearing storm sewer inlets before falling temperatures made things more difficult, he said.


It was another case of Mother Nature smacking winter-weary Wisconsin on Sunday, dumping freezing rain and snow across the southern two-thirds of the state.


The state Department of Transportation declared sections of nearly three dozen major highways and interstates snow-covered and slippery by mid-afternoon.


The conditions forced closures of shopping malls, libraries and churches.


Sunday’s storm tracked on a diagonal from the southwestern section of the state to the northeast. Areas on either side of that diagonal received some seven to 10 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service.


Eight to 12 inches fell across a narrow band of the state spanning Adams, Grant, Juneau, Monroe and Richland counties.


No measurable snow fell in Janesville on Sunday. The season total stands at 66.1 inches, just over an inch shy of the winter record of 67.3 inches set in 1978-79.



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