Press Releases

 

June Releases

NOTICE:

In compliance with the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in Senne v. Village of Palatine, 695F3d597 (7th Circuit, 2012), and the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (“DPPA”), 18 U.S.C. §2721 et.seq., the Washington County Sheriff’s Office is no longer releasing personal information under the DPPA unless it falls under a permissible use. Personal information obtained from the Department of Motor Vehicles, including an individual’s date of birth, drivers license number, social security number, home address, telephone number, photograph and medical or disability information is prohibited from disclosure unless one of the permissible uses applies. Permissible uses are listed in 18 U.S.C. 2721 (b).


Date:             June 23, 2017
Subject:        I41 Injury Crash (17-23247)
Authority:     Lt. Robert Stuesser      

On June 23, 2017 at approximately 8:31 A.M., the Washington County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a passenger car that had struck a semi tractor-trailer on I41 southbound approximately .3 miles north of CTH FD/Pioneer Rd in the Town of Polk. Personnel from the Sheriff’s Office and Jackson Fire Department responded to the scene.  Upon their arrival, first responders observed that a passenger car had rear ended a semi tractor-trailer.  The operator and sole occupant of the passenger car appeared to be seriously injured, and Flight For Life was summoned to the scene.

A preliminary on-scene investigation revealed the following: The southbound semi tractor-trailer, operated by a 42-year-old Salt Lake City, Utah man, was stopped and legally parked on the far right shoulder/emergency lane.  The semi tractor-trailer had previously experienced mechanical difficulties and its 4-way flashers were activated.  Witnesses indicated that the southbound passenger car, operated by a 22-year-old Beaver Dam man, had been exceeding the speed limit and driving/passing erratically prior to the crash.  Moments before impact, the operator of the passenger car attempted to pass a group of vehicles utilizing the far right shoulder/emergency lane.  In the process, the passenger car struck the rear of the legally parked semi-trailer.  The driver of the semi was not injured.  Rescue personnel extricated the operator of the passenger car, and transported him from the scene (via ambulance) to a nearby parking lot where Flight For Life had landed.  The operator was flown to Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa with suspected life threatening injuries.  

The crash remains under investigation by the Sheriff’s Office.  I41 southbound was closed at STH 60 for approximately 1.25 hours to facilitate rescue, investigative, and clean-up operations.  The temporary detour utilized STH 60 east to southbound USH 45.  The Wisconsin State Patrol, Slinger Police Department, and Jackson Police Department assisted with the I41 closure/detour.


DATE:                06-20-2017
SUBJECT:         ADVERTISING BLIMP CRASH-UPDATE
                          17-22192, 17-22212
AUTHORITY:    SHERIFF DALE K. SCHMIDT 

The Sheriff’s Office is confirming reports that it investigated a complaint on 06-15-2017 in regards to the Airsign aircraft prior to the aircraft actually crashing.

At 8:53 am on that date, the Sheriff’s Office received a complaint from a property owner near the private airstrip where the aircraft launched. During the original call, the complainant advised that the aircraft was scaring his cattle.  He also was concerned that the aircraft may be violating permits/regulations during its operation.

Near the end of the call, the complainant asked if he could “…shoot it down?” The dispatcher advised no, and that a Deputy was on his way to meet with him.  The question was asked in a sarcastic manner, but could be construed as a vague threat.

The Deputy did meet with the complainant, advised him on his concerns and determined that he was not a threat to the aircraft.

At 11:15 am, the aircraft was seen in distress and crashed. Investigators were almost immediately assigned to locate and interview the complainant from earlier in the morning.  He was located, and during a thorough interview, denied any involvement in the aircraft crash.

Through interviews, evidence at the crash site, witnesses and other information, there is no reason to believe this person was involved, in any way, with the aircraft crash.

Additionally, from the same evidence and information, there is no reason to believe foul play is involved with the crash of the aircraft. If any new information develops, it will be investigated. 

The NTSB has an open investigation, and it is hoped they will be able to make a determination as to the cause of the crash. No reports or recordings will be released at this time.


Date: 06-16-2017         
Subject: #17-22361 Injury Accident           
Authority: Sgt. Randy Boudry

The Sheriff’s Office was notified at 12:13 PM of a single vehicle motorcycle crash in the Town of Barton. Authorities were notified by passing motorists driving down the rural road who discovered the victim lying in the northbound lane of traffic.

Sheriff’s officials were able to determine that the cycle was northbound on Townline Rd when the lone occupant/operator applied the brakes, and was ejected from the cycle.

Statements from the operator indicate a deer crossing Townline Rd was the cause of the crash.

There is no reason to believe speed or alcohol were involved in the crash. The operator was wearing a helmet when the crash occurred.

Assisting at the scene were the Allenton and West Bend fire departments. The operator a 54 year old West Bend man was flown from the scene by Flight for Life and transported to Froedtert Medical Center in Milwaukee for what are believed to be non-life threatening injuries


Date:              June 16, 2017
Subject:        Natural Death at 2017 US Open (17-22376)   
Authority:     Lt. Robert Stuesser      

On June 16, 2017, at approximately 1:25 p.m., Hartford Rescue Personnel and Washington County Sheriff’s Deputies stationed at the 2017 US Open, were dispatched to the grandstand at Green #6, for a 94-year-old Wauwatosa man who was reported to be pulseless and non-breathing.  Rescue personnel arrived within approximately three minutes of the call and began CPR.  The subject was later transferred to an on-site ambulance, where he was pronounced deceased.  The Washington County Medical Examiner’s Officer responded to the scene to assist in the investigation.  No foul play is suspected and the death appears to be of natural causes.  Today was the decedent’s first visit to the 2017 US Open.               


Date:             June 15, 2017
Subject:        Update: Advertising Blimp Crash
Authority:     Captain Bruce Theusch 

Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board will be holding a press conference on June 15 at 7:00pm in the parking lot of Motor Masters Racing Equipment located at 1470 Hwy 83, Hartford, WI. 

Also, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office is asking if anyone has pictures or video of the Blimp in distress prior to the crash, that you contact the Washington County Sheriff’s Office at 262-335-4378.


Date:              June 15, 2017
Subject:         Advertising Blimp Crash 
Authority:     Captain Martin Schulteis    

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating the crash of an advertising blimp east of the 2017 US Open Golf event grounds.  A Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy at a security post reported seeing the lighter than air aircraft on fire, or smoking, and rapidly descending at 11:15 a.m. in the Town of Erin.  Hartford Fire Department was immediately paged to the 1400 block of STH 83. Ashippun Fire Department used a utility type vehicle to access the crash site which was approximately .75 miles to the east of STH 83.   Both Ashippun Fire Department and the Hartford Fire Department were staged at the 2017 US Open, which is about 1 mile west of the crash site, and were able to quickly respond to the site after the initial report.

The pilot, the only occupant of the aircraft, sustained serious injuries as a result of the crash and was medically transported via Flight for Life with serious burns and injuries.

The initial investigation reveals the blimp may have experienced mechanical problems prior to the crash.  The Sheriff’s Office has been in contact with both the Federal Aviation Administration as well as the National Transportation Safety Bureau to assist with the onsite investigation.

The advertising blimp had been airborne for several hours prior to the incident and the Sheriff’s Office had been in contact with FAA representatives earlier in the day and determined the aircraft was lawfully operating at the proper altitude.

 

 


Date: June 11, 2017
Subject: Serious Injury Crash (17-21511)
Authority: Sgt. Charles Vanderheiden

On Sunday, June 11th, 2017 at 4:00 p.m., Deputies from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and Hartford Fire/Rescue responded to 7200 Block of Lee Road, in the Township of Hartford, for a single vehicle (motorcycle) crash with injury. Upon the arrival of Hartford Rescue, Flight for Life was summoned to Hartford Hospital for injuries sustained to the operator who was the sole occupant.

Initial investigation shows that the operator was westbound on Lee Road when he lost control for an unknown reason. He veered right and went through the ditch, drove about 200ft through a grassy area and struck a split rail fence where he was ejected.

The operator was flown to Aurora Medical Center - Summit where he is being treated for his injuries. He sustained a head injury and other internal injuries. He is currently in serious condition.

The injured operator is an 18 year old male from Hartford, Wisconsin, who was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

No further information is being released at this time and the crash remains under investigation.

 


Date:              June 9, 2017        
Subject:        Tractor/Trailer Crash (17-21243)                                           
Authority:     Lt. Robert Stuesser       

On June 9, 2017 at 12:07 p.m. the Washington County Sheriff’s Office was notified of two tractor/trailers that had collided on I41 southbound at Mohawk Road in the Town of Wayne. Personnel from the Sheriff’s Office, Wisconsin State Patrol, and Kohlsville Fire Department responded to the scene.  Upon their arrival, first responders located a damaged tractor/trailer stopped in the right lane and a second damaged tractor/trailer stopped in the far right emergency lane.  While both tractors had sustained significant damage, neither operator claimed injury.  The Washington County Highway Department also responded to the scene to assist with cleanup.       

An on-scene investigation revealed the following: The lead southbound tractor/trailer, operated by a 60 year old Green Bay man, had stopped in the right lane due to construction related back-ups.  The second southbound tractor/trailer, operated by a 29 year old Chicago, IL man, was unable to stop in time to avoid striking the lead tractor/trailer.  The operator of the second tractor/trailer took evasive action by positioning his vehicle in the far right emergency lane.  In the process of trying to rapidly stop in the emergency lane, the second tractor/trailer jackknifed and impacted the first tractor.  No other vehicles were involved in the crash.  

The matter remains under investigation by the Sheriff’s Office, but inattentive driving and driving too fast for conditions appear to be contributing factors.  As of this writing, the right lane (in the area of the crash) remains closed to facilitate clean-up operations.


Date:              June 9, 2017
Subject:         Single Vehicle Crash (17-21209)       
Authority:      Lt. Robert Stuesser    

On June 9, 2017 at 6:03 a.m. the Washington County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a single vehicle, roll over style crash on I41 northbound approximately .2 miles south of Cedar Creek Road in the Town of Polk. Personnel from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Slinger Police Department, Slinger Fire Department, and Lifestar Ambulance service responded to the scene. Upon their arrival, rescuers located a severely damaged automobile down a steep embankment on the east side of I41.  It was apparent that the vehicle had rolled several times and came to rest after striking a tree.  The driver of the vehicle, a 50 year old West Milwaukee woman, required extrication from her vehicle and was flown to Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa via Flight For Life.  The operator’s injuries are believed to be non-life threatening.      

An on-scene investigation revealed the following: The operator and sole occupant of the crashed vehicle was northbound on I41 in the left lane, when for an unknown reason(s), her vehicle gradually veered right and entered the east ditch line. The vehicle continued northbound in the ditch line and struck the back side of a metal guardrail.  After striking the guard rail, the vehicle rolled several times down a steep embankment and struck a tree.  No other vehicles were involved in the crash and the operator was wearing her seatbelt.  The operator was transported via ambulance to a nearby off-freeway location were Flight For Life had previously been staged.    

The right lane of I41 in the area of the crash was closed for approximately 1.5 hours to facilitate rescue and clean up operations. The exact cause of the crash is unknown at this time and matter remains under investigation by the Sheriff’s Office.


Date:             June 8, 2017
Subject:        Overturned Semi Trailer (17-21089)                                   
Authority:     Lt. Robert Stuesser
       

On June 8, 2017 at 4:26 a.m., the Washington County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a semi that had lost control and over-turned on I41 northbound at STH 144 in the Town of Polk. Sheriff’s Deputies and an officer from the Slinger Police Department responded to the scene.  Upon their arrival, officers located a double bottom tractor/trailer stopped in the right emergency lane.  The second (rear) trailer was overturned but still attached to the lead trailer.  Both lanes of I41 were obstructed with debris that had fallen out of the overturned trailer.  The driver of the semi, a 50 year old Milwaukee man, was uninjured.  Officers re-opened the left lane after manually clearing the debris.  Both lanes of I41 were re-opened at approximately 6:26 a.m. after the trailer was moved into the shoulder.  The Washington County Highway Department established an official closure of the shoulder to facilitate additional clean-up and removal efforts.  

An on-scene investigation revealed the following: The northbound semi was in the right lane when the driver lost control, crossed over the left (fast) lane, and partially entered the grassy median.  The rear trailer struck a section of guardrail protecting the STH 144 bridge abutments.  The semi re-entered the northbound lanes of travel, swerved across both lanes, and entered the east ditch line.  The rear trailer then struck a concrete retaining wall/fence, and came to rest on its side partially in the right (slow) lane of travel.  No other vehicles were involved in the incident.  

The matter remains under investigation by the Sheriff’s Office, but inattentive driving appears to be the main contributing factor.  Motorists are encouraged to travel the area at reduced speeds as clean-up efforts continue. 


Date: 06-01-2017  
Subject: Motor home fire on Highway 41 (17-20346)  
Authority:  Sgt. Uhan 416 

On 06/01/17, at approximately 11:35 pm, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a motor home on fire, on Highway 41 southbound, near Pleasant Hill Rd in the Village of Richfield.   

A motorist came upon the motor home, which was emitting heavy smoke, and stopped between the center and right lanes of Highway 41. Upon arrival of deputies, the motor home became engulfed in flames, and the driver had left the scene.

The Richfield Fire department was dispatched to the scene. Due to the position and location of the motor home, south of where Highways 41 and 45 merge, both highways had to be closed at Pioneer Rd, southbound traffic, for approximately two hours. The motor home, which had burned significantly, was extinguished by the fire department. The Washington County Highway Department was called to remove melted metal fragments from the roadway.

The incident remains under investigation into the owner of the motor home. The investigation revealed that the motor home became disabled while it was being driven, and subsequently started on fire. The driver, a 41 year old man from Milwaukee, was located a short time later, away from the scene, and will be cited for traffic related offenses.  


 

 

 

 

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