Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

Friday’s weather causes rollover, runoffs

by Steve Targo

March 08, 2012

GENEVA — The rain that blanketed the area Friday afternoon turned to sleet. But once the snow started, the evening commute throughout Southeastern Wisconsin was primed for potential disaster.

“You never know when this weather hits what kind of night you’re going to have,” Police Chief Steve Hurley said Monday.

He said in the moments before the weather turned severe, forecasts and other information remained “sketchy.” Hurley said reports differed — some calling for 2 to 4 inches of snow, others 4 to 8.

“We didn’t want to overreact if it was just going to be 2 inches of snow,” he said. “But I think the key factor we had here was it started as rain, then sleet, then the temperatures fell enough that it turned to snow.”

That created a busy afternoon for Eric Anderson, the only town police officer on duty during a shift punctuated by a rollover accident, several vehicle runoffs and a power outtage.

However, despite the number of incidents — one of which was turned over to the Walworth County Sheriff’s Department because it occurred while Anderson was handling the vehicle rollover— no injuries were reported during the severe weather event.

Hurley said it was “fairly equal” to the last sizable snowfall in the area, which also yielded no situations concerning serious injuries.

But that’s no reason not to pay attention to the weather.

“People really have to take precautions when there is a storm, especially when there is a base of ice under the snow,” Hurley said. “People have to adjust their driving accordingly. Fortunately, no one was injured in the types of accidents we had.”

Below is a rundown of calls reported Friday by the Geneva Town Police Department:

- A 2001 Nissan sport-utility vehicle rolled over at 4:36 p.m. on Highway 50 near Red Chimney Road.

“The vehicle slid to the side of the road and when it hit the gravel, it flipped and rolled over,” Hurley said.

According to Hurley, a 49-year-old Chicago woman was driving west on Highway 50 in the right lane when she slowed to turn onto Red Chimney.

The Nissan slid in snow and ice, went into the northern ditch and rolled a half-turn onto its roof. The woman and her passenger, a 50-year-old Chicago woman, were out of the vehicle by the time police arrived and refused medical treatment. They were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.

Hurley said the Nissan sustained minor damage.

“It was still turned over because they had to flip it upright, but the structural damage was minor,” he said.

- A vehicle runoff at 4:53 p.m. on Highway 50 across from Anthony’s Steak House. Hurley said the call was turned over to the Sheriff’s Department because town police were still at the scene of the rollover.

- A vehicle runoff at 3:35 p.m. at Palmer and Petrie roads. According to Hurley, no injuries were reported and the driver’s vehicle was removed from the ditch.

- A motorist’s vehicle was stuck at 5:45 p.m. on Highway 50 near Geneva Street. According to Hurley, the engine blew while the driver tried to free the vehicle. Police took the driver and a passenger to Geneva National and the vehicle was tagged.

- A tree fell down at 6 p.m. on Krueger Road, east of Highway NN. The Geneva Town Highway Department responded to the call, Hurley said.

- A vehicle ran off Highway 12 near Springfield Road at 6:08 p.m. Hurley said the driver had the vehicle towed by AAA.

- A tree fell down at 6:41 p.m. on Springfield Road, west of Weeks Road.

- A vehicle was stuck in a ditch at 7:52 p.m. on Highway H near Oak Road. When police arrived, no one was at the vehicle, so it was tagged and later removed.

- A business alarm went off at 5:59 p.m. Around that time, the Como area experienced a power outage, Hurley said.