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Fatal car crash occurs near Springbrook

One young man is dead and another injured following a vehicle crash near Springbrook, WI in Washburn County. According to the Star Tribune, Andrew Ninke was driving a pickup towing a trailer, when he lost control, crossed the centerline and hit the vehicle Henry Zietlow was driving.

The driver of the other vehicle was killed

Zietlow, who was just 18-years-old, died. His mother, Sarah Risser, was riding with him. She was treated for minor injuries. Ninke, the pickup driver, is only 23. He was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries.

Just last year, Zietlow graduated with honors from the St. Paul Academy and Summit School. He was from St. Paul. This fall, he started at Bowdoin College in Maine, where he was on the varsity rowing team.

Bad roads may have caused the crash

The Wisconsin State Patrol stated it believed road conditions may have caused the accident, but they are still investigating. During that time, the National Weather Service reported light snow and freezing drizzle coming down in that part of Wisconsin.

Though it has been a relatively mild winter, snow and rain mixing have led to some slippery driving conditions for Wisconsin drivers. If you find yourself driving on icy roads this winter, here are some tips to help you navigate these roads more safely and avoid vehicle accidents.

Slow down

This seems like it should be obvious, but people with AWD or big trucks often think they can navigate snow and ice with no problems. While those vehicles do give drivers some advantages, these vehicles are not immune from sliding on ice. If you are fishtailing on ice, you are going too fast. When are you at a light, accelerate and decelerate much more slowly than normal. It can help prevent sliding or spinning out.

Increase your following distance

AAA states on dry pavement you should be three or four seconds behind the car in front of you. When the roads are slick, increase your following distance to eight to ten seconds. This gives you more time to react and slow down.

Avoid stopping if you can

If you must stop at a light or stop sign, slow down gradually. If you can avoid stopping completely, your car will have a lot more inertia than if you came to a complete stop. This may help you avoid spinning your tires and sliding on the ice.

If rear wheels skid

Take your foot off the accelerator immediately. If your back wheels are skidding, turn the steering wheel the direction your back wheels are sliding. If you overcorrect, you may have to ease the wheel the other way until you get your vehicle under control. With anti-lock brakes, you should apply steady pressure to your brakes.

If front wheels skid

Remove your foot from the gas, and put your car in neutral. Do not try to steer until your vehicle slows down, and you regain traction. Steer the wheel in the direction you want the car to move, put your car in drive and accelerate very slowly.

If road conditions are particularly hazardous, consider working from home, using a PTO day or cancelling your plans. Your boss or friends will understand.

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