The dangers of drunk driving were highlighted after an accident killed four people in Fitchburg on Feb. 18 shortly after 5 p.m. Three victims died at the scene of the tragic Wisconsin car accident. A fourth victim was flown by helicopter to a nearby hospital, only to succumb to his injuries the following day. The 18-year-old driver, himself hospitalized but expected to survive, faces a number of drunk-driving related charges.
Police believe that the teenager was speeding when he failed to stop at a stop sign at South Syene Road. The vehicle went airborne, striking a utility pole and ejecting four people as it rolled over. The driver allegedly fled but was later found nearby, and witnesses reported seeing the five people at a local park close to the scene of the accident. Police later found beer cans in the park that matched the same brand of beer that was found at the scene of the fatal car accident. It is not known if there were any open alcoholic containers at the crash site.
When the driver is well enough to leave the hospital, he will be booked in the Dane County Jail. Right now, he has been charged with four counts of intoxicated use of a motor vehicle. Police are reconstructing the crash in an attempt to determine exactly what happened. A police officer stated that there is a road hump in the area where the crash happened, but he also offered it is not a dangerous area for drivers who obey the posted traffic signs.
This case emphasizes the tragic circumstances that can occur when drunk driving is involved. A negligent and perhaps reckless decision by a teenage driver in Wisconsin led to four deaths. The victim’s families will likely be seeking answers as they try to make some sense out of a senseless tragedy. While nothing can restore the lives lost, the law permits the family of fatal accidents caused by the negligence of others to seek monetary damages in the form of a wrongful death action. There is no sum of money that can make up for the damage done, but the families may gain some small sense of justice in holding negligent parties responsible to the fullest extent permissible by law.
Source: Wisconsin State Journal, “Fourth dies in Fitchburg crash; police hold driver at hospital,” Sandy Cullen, Feb. 20, 2012