DCSO Identifies Watertown Teen Injured In ATV Crash

(Juneau) Authorities have identified the Watertown teen who was seriously injured in an ATV crash in the town of Shields on Tuesday. Dodge County sheriff’s officials say 18-year-old Jillian Dunham was operating the four-wheeled ATV westbound on Wood Road near County Road K, about three miles northwest of the city of Watertown, around 1pm.

The initial investigation showed that the ATV left the roadway and overturned in the ditch. Dunham was ejected from the vehicle and a medical helicopter was called the scene which transported her to an area hospital. Authorities say a helmet was at the scene, but whether it was worn at the time of the crash and its impacts on the injuries is still under investigation.

During Wednesday’s appearance on WBEV’s Community Comment, Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt encouraged all ATV and UTV operators to take necessary safety measures.

“Wear your seatbelts especially with UTV’s…those seatbelts are there…and make sure you got proper lighting…that the lightings are all working,” says Schmidt. “Make sure your tires properly inflated. If you’re on the roadways…if you can get roadway tires for them rather than your typical ATV tires, I recommend that. And just drive carefully.”

Schmidt notes that you need a driver’s license and recommends wearing a helmet. All town roads in the township of Shields are open to ATV/UTV traffic by town ordinance. The sheriff advises familiarizing yourself with local ordinances if ATV use is permitted as well as where you cannot drive the vehicle.

“Some of them are a little bit different depending on where you are at…whether you’re in the county, on a county road…a town road…a city road…and so you got to know what those rules are in each of those locations,” says Schmidt. “All county roads are open [to ATV’s and UTV’s]. Township…depends on the town.  

Schmidt adds that ATV/UTV use is not permitted on state highways such as 151, 33 or 67.