(Beaver Dam) One person is dead and another injured after a vehicle went off the Madison Street Bridge and into the Beaver Dam River early Tuesday morning. Authorities were dispatched to the area near Ryan Cantafio’s Way, behind Park Plaza Pizza, at 1:52am.
Beaver Dam Police Chief John Kreuziger says the vehicle was upside down in the river when officers jumped in, encountering waist-deep water and strong currents. The officers were able to get the driver’s side door open and remove the woman in the driver’s seat, who was conscious and alert. She was transported to the Beaver Dam Community Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
A short time later, fire personnel located a second subject in the vehicle who was transported to the hospital and later pronounced dead. The four police officers who jumped in the river were treated and released from the hospital. The accident remains under investigation.
There have not been any incidents at the bridge in nearly a decade since three vehicles went through the guardrail in one year between July of 2010 and July of 2011.
On July 25, 2010 around 9pm, a 58-year-old Beaver Dam woman was rescued from the river after she failed to negotiate the curve, crashed through the railings and landed upside down in the river. Five emergency responders jumped in the river and were able to flip the GMC Trailblazer upright while the driver was pulled to safety. She was taken to the Beaver Dam Hospital and later cited for OWI. Authorities say the river was not even knee deep.
On February 6, 2011 around 1:40am, a 34-year-old Mayville man was arrested for OWI after a similar crash. A witness and two police officers helped the driver out of the river after a 28-year-old female passenger swam to safety. The driver was charged with OWI – Causing Injury. A 16-foot section of the metal railing and fence needed to be replaced.
On July 23, 2011 at 3:14am, an 18-year-old Beaver Dam woman crashed through the railings of the Madison Street Bridge at the intersection with Ryan Cantafio Way. An off-duty police officer noticed the car in the river and saw the suspected driver enter a nearby vehicle. A preliminary breath test on the driver was reportedly point .135. There was one witness who told police that the woman was speeding before the accident. There were no other passengers and the teen did not require EMS transport.