Dodge County Finishes 2017 With 21 Traffic Deaths

(Juneau) Dodge County finished the year with 21 traffic fatalities and the sheriff says that is 21 too many. The most recent deadly crash occurred just after 5:30pm on New Year’s Eve when two people were killed. That includes the driver of a vehicle heading the wrong way on County Highway R between Lebanon and Watertown and the driver of the vehicle struck head-on. Sheriff Dale Schmidt says that after responding to that crash, he returned home to spend time with his family. In a Facebook post, he said (quote) “these crashes are a sobering reminder of how fragile life is and how quickly they can change everything for so many people.” After the clock struck midnight, Schmidt said he went on patrol again in hopes that one more squad car on the road could help prevent more tragedy. A short time later, one of his deputies located a car traveling at dangerously fast speeds and attempted a traffic stop. The suspect led the deputy on a pursuit that the sheriff says ended before anyone got hurt. The driver and a passenger were taken into custody without further incident. Alcohol was a factor. Schmidt says both incidents are reminders that it is important to drive carefully, slow down, pay attention, stop at stop signs, and never drive while impaired by the use of alcohol or drugs. His hope is that the motoring public makes safe driving their New Year’s resolution. The 21 traffic fatalities that Dodge County experienced last year were ten more than the five-year average. There were 12 deaths last year and 14 in 2014. Dodge County had the fifth-most traffic deaths in the state in 2017 behind: Milwaukee, Dane, Waukesha and Brown counties.