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Icy conditions may have contributed to fatal crash

Driving in Wisconsin during the winter can present a whole slew of challenges. Ice is a big one of these and has the potential of creating dangerous roadway conditions, especially on bridges. This is because bridges tend to ice over much more quickly than roads. Ice forms on bridges for a couple of reasons. The first is that cold air circulates around all sides of the bridge, so that heat is lost on all sides. On a road, the ground underneath it keeps it insulated for longer. The second reason is that a majority of bridges are constructed of materials like steel and concrete that conduct heat well and therefore the heat moves away from the bridge to the surface where it is lost.

Drivers can be traveling comfortably on an ice-free road, but the instant they drive onto a bridge, they may start to slide due to the ice. This may be the case for one man who lost control of his SUV while driving over a railroad overpass bridge on Interstate 90/39 in Janesville recently. Another motorist who witnessed the accident said conditions on the roads that day were icy.

The accident happened as the 37-year-old man was driving his SUV northbound and lost control, causing him to cross over the median and hit a semi-truck traveling southbound. The 23-year-old truck driver was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The driver of the SUV was killed in the truck accident.

This accident is a reminder to slow down when temperatures drop below freezing, especially when crossing bridges.

Source: Gazette Extra, “Man who died in Tuesday I-90/39 crash identified,” Shelly Birkelo, Jan. 21, 2014

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