Intersection will receive flashing lights
May 05, 2010 | 08:29 AM
Elkhorn — George Spadoni began to choke up. He apologized for becoming emotional about the serious car accidents that have occurred at the Highway 67, F intersection.
It is the same intersection where a drunken driver caused a three-car accident that seriously injured several people, including Spadoni's wife, Donna.
On April 22, Spadoni told his story to the Walworth County Highway Safety Commission and asked that they install solar-powered flashing stop lights at the intersection.
Spadoni, a Fontana trustee, acknowledged that the signs carry a heavy price tag — about $8,000 to purchase and install, but assured it would be a wise investment.
"If your family ever goes through this, it will be money well spent," Spadoni said.
The commission was convinced the flashing lights would benefit the intersection and plan on having them installed.
"I would hate for another crash to have to happen before we realize we have to address it," Walworth County Sheriff's Sgt. Mark Roum said.
Sheriff's Department Capt. Scott McClory said the majority of the accidents that occur at the intersection are alcohol-related.
However, he said the flashing lights have improved other intersections.
The flashing stop lights have been installed at Highways 14 and 67 and Lakeville Road and at South Lake Shore Drive and Willow and Linton Roads.
Prior to the meeting, Eric Perera, a state Department of Transportation traffic operating engineer, visited the intersection.
"It is so wide open, you can easily miss the stop signs," he said.
Walworth County Public Works Director Shane Crawford said flashing stop signs should be installed.
"It's a human life issue. If we need to throw up a couple of signs to address that we should," Crawford said. "Is there money to do that this year? Somehow, someway — yes."
The commission also will look at installing rumble strips to slow down traffic before the intersection.
McClory raised concerns that the residents of Inspiration Ministries may object to the rumble strips because of the increased noise.
After the meeting, Perera said installing rumble strips isn't as expensive as the stops signs. Typically, the county's public works department can install the rumble strips.
The committee also discussed a roundabout at the intersection, but concerns were raised about the cost.
A near-fatal accident
On June 23 at 5:43 p.m., a serious accident involving a drunken driver occurred at the intersection of Highways 67 and F.
The drunken driver, Amanda Weiland, pleaded guilty last year to three counts of injury by intoxicated use of a vehicle. She was sentenced to one year in jail with work release privileges.
Weiland also was sentenced to 10 years of probation. After Weiland's sentencing, District Attorney Phillip Koss said if Weiland violates the terms of her probation — which includes no drinking or drugs — she could face the full prison sentence of 75 years.
At the time of the accident, Weiland was driving a Jeep which was traveling north on Highway 67 in Walworth Township.
Weiland missed the stop sign and struck a Volkswagen Beetle, which was being driven by Keisha King.
Her father, Keith, was a passenger in the car. Donna Spadoni, Fontana, was waiting at the stop sign behind the Beetle and her vehicle also was hit.
Spadoni and the Kings were treated for serious injuries after the accident.
A passenger in Weiland's vehicle, Samantha Koslo, also was hurt.