Janesville police: Hit-and-runs a daily occurrence
JANESVILLE Almost every day, a driver flees the scene of an accident in Janesville, according to Janesville police data.
Janesville police report 114 motorists left the scenes of crashes that injured seven people in the 104 days between April 1 and July 13 this year.
Last year, 111 hit-and-run accidents that injured two people were reported during the same period.
About 30 percent of the city’s hit-and-run accidents were in the Janesville police patrol area bordered on the west by Milton Avenue, on the north by Highway 14 and on the south by Mount Zion Avenue, according to police data.
“That’s right smack dab in the highest trafficked area of Janesville, with the Janesville Mall and Milton Avenue and a bunch of residential areas,” Janesville police officer Matt Schieve said. “That’s going to account for most accidents overall.”
Bonita Carlson, of Lima, Ohio, is one of the seven injured this year.
Bonita and her husband, Eric, were on their motorcycle June 19 traveling east on Highway 14 near Tarrant Road. The motorcycle was towing a trailer.
As a vehicle in front of them slowed to make a turn, a silver Pontiac Grand Prix collided with the motorcycle trailer. The Grand Prix fled east on Highway 14.
“The trailer came apart from the motorcycle, but the hitch was left on the motorcycle,” Bonita said. “The motorcycle fell over, and my leg was caught under the bike. It just happened so fast.”
A piece of debris from the crash cut Carlson above her ankle.
“It left a big hole,” she said. “It went clear down to bone and shredded muscle.”
She still hobbles and wears a splint on her injured leg.
James Peterson, 4020 Oldwyck Drive, Janesville, suffered a dislocated shoulder in a hit-and-run crash June 22.
Peterson was on a motorcycle headed east on Black Bridge Road west of Milton Avenue when a vehicle pulled out from a driveway and crossed four lanes of traffic. Peterson had to slam on his brakes, and the motorcycle tipped. The driver of the vehicle slowed briefly then drove away.
“I didn’t think about the other driver when I was sliding through the road under the bike,” Peterson said. “He didn’t speed away like he’s got to get away. He came to a complete stop about 30 yards from me.
“There was another truck right behind me that stopped and assisted me, he might’ve thought I was already being helped.”
In Wisconsin, leaving the scene of an injury accident can bring fines of up to $10,000 and nine months in jail.
Leaving the scene of an accident that causes “great bodily harm” is a felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and up to $50,000 in fines.
Hit and run to an unattended vehicle or property is a $263.50 ticket in Janesville.
What to do at the scene of an accident
If you are involved in an accident, Wisconsin law requires that you:
1. Give your name, address and your vehicle’s registration number to the other person involved in the accident.
2. Show your driver’s license to the other person.
3. See that any injured parties are taken to a hospital for medical attention.