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Authorities increase traffic enforcement after fatal accident in Sharon Township

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Pedro Oliveira Jr.
June 10, 2010
— When friends plan to visit Don Harvey, he warns them about the intersection of County K and State Line Road.

“We just don’t want anyone else to get hurt,” he said.


Authorities have stepped up traffic enforcement at the intersection since a woman was killed there June 1, a sheriff’s captain said Wednesday.


Elizabeth A. Shults, 53, of Evansville was eastbound on State Line Road when a semitrailer truck driven by Jesse S. Grenier, 31, of Fort Atkinson, failed to yield from a stop sign, according to the Walworth County Sheriff’s Office.


Police said the area was shrouded in dense fog at the time of the 6:20 a.m. crash. Shults was pronounced dead at the scene.


Capt. Scott McClory of the Walworth County Sheriff’s Office declined to go into details about how the intersection is being patrolled.


“But we are there,” he said.


McClory said the semi driver is cooperating and has not yet been cited.


McClory said he is gathering information from his department and the McHenry County, Ill., Sheriff’s Office, which is investigating Shults’ death. The case will be reviewed by Walworth County District Attorney Phil Koss within the next 10 days.


“Charges are possible as well as citations,” McClory said.


Harvey, whose dairy farm is west of the intersection, is no stranger to accidents at the location. He has lived on State Line Road for 67 years and said it is not uncommon to see drivers slow near the stop sign, look around and then speed through the intersection.


“It’s not just truck drivers, it can be anyone,” Harvey said. “It’s especially common during winter, when you can see both sides more clearly.


“They just blow it.”


Since 2000, the intersection has been the scene of 10 accidents, according to data from the Walworth County Sheriff’s Office. Two happened this year, one of them fatal.


In an e-mail, a records clerk with the sheriff’s office wrote that additional crashes could have been reported to the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office in Illinois.


Juan Olague, whose father has a farm just south of State Line Road, said flashing lights could help alert incoming drivers to stop at the intersection.


“There is a lot of traffic on that road,” he said. “Maybe those yellow lights could help out.”


McClory said he has received similar complaints from other area residents.


“That’s why we’ve dedicated more efforts to remain a presence down there,” he said.



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