A Marinette, Wisconsin man was driving on U.S. 41 when a car pulled onto the highway. The Marinette man struck this vehicle. The Marinette man survived. Everyone in the other vehicle died.
If this is all you heard you may say that the other vehicle was at fault. Why didn’t they see the Marinette man’s vehicle? They should have yielded the right of way to the vehicle on U.S. 41.
In Wisconsin “speed defeats right of way.” So, if you are speeding on the road and another car pulls out in front of you, guess what? You, the speeder, are at fault.
That is what happened in this case. Plus, I should mention that the Marinette man was intoxicated. An accident reconstruction specialist estimated the Marinette, Wisconsinite was driving between 77 and 81 in a 45 mph zone.
The Marinette man killed the driver of the car, his three daughters (two were pregnant so two kids were killed) and his son.
The Marinette man was allegedly at a bar where his wife worked for 9 hours prior to the crash. He told the police that he was distracted when the collision occurred. He was changing the radio station in his car.
Read the AP’s full story at jsonline.com.
If you have questions about an accident involving a drunk driver or whether someone is “at fault” in Wisconsin feel free to contact me at 800-950-9882. I’d be happy to discuss your situation.
Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in Wausaukee, Kenosha, Janesville and Wauwatosa.
The State of Wisconsin is running a serious ad blitz on TV and radio. The ads talk about the number of deaths and serious injuries that occur daily because of car accidents. In short the ads talk about cell phones, drinking and not paying attention as bad driving habits that we all can work on. If we can change our habits there won’t be as many injuries and serious car accidents in Wisconsin.
Their website ZeroInWisconsin.gov says:
Some deaths were caused by speeding while others were a result of drunk driving, or not wearing a seat belt. Tragically, these deaths affect many lives and cause great pain to thousands of people throughout the state. Fortunately, you can help change that number.
There is a bunch of statistics on the page too. I think I’ve already talked about the death totals from car accidents before.
In short, this is a good time to assess your driving habits and make a New Year’s Resolution to drive more responsibly. It sounds simple but this is good advice:
By staying within the speed limit, being sober behind the wheel, and buckling up, you can do simple things that can turn more than 500 annual deaths into zero.
Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in West Allis, Sheboygan, Plymouth, and Germantown.
If you’d like to submit a question or case please complete a case submission form.
Who in Wisconsin’s Legislature is tough on drunk driving? I’d like to know.
Personally, I don’t believe someone should be given the opportunity to cause a car accident after numerous convictions for drunk driving. Isn’t that just common sense? I think I am in the majority of public opinion on this issue. Aren’t I?
If the majority of Wisconsin’s citizens agree then why doesn’t the Legislature do something? Why let a drunk driver back on the road after numerous convictions? Why not take him out of society? A place called prison.
I admit this post is chock-full of indignation. Recently, in Oconomowoc (Waukesha County) a “Doctor” (former M.D.: he had his license pulled for drug abuse and writing fake prescriptions) was driving while under the influence of Oxycodone, Ambien and Xanax and killed a teacher, her young daughter and her unborn child, not to mention sending others to the hospital with injuries.
The Journal Sentinel uncovered that Mark Benson had a history of driving while intoxicated dating back to 1993. In fact, he was in court for drunk driving just a few days prior to the vehicular homicides.
Also, Mark Benson did NOT have auto insurance OR a license [UPDATE: 9-26-08 According to Mark Benson’s brother he DID have insurance]. So, I ask again, who in the legislature is tough on crime? Will this finally be the wake up call to put drunk/intoxicated drivers behind bars?
Sadly, because the criminal system failed, the only solace for the victims of this collision may be in civil court. The criminal court system failed by not putting Mark Benson in prison, now the family of the victims will only be able to get monetary compensation for the loss of their loved ones. Hopefully, they will hire a personally injury attorney that IS tough on drunk drivers and does everything in his/her power to punish Mark Benson. If anyone asks why there is a need for punitive damages just point them to this case.
Maybe … hopefully a Judge will put Mark Benson behind bars and he will pay his debt to society. Hopefully, someone will take Mark Benson to civil court so he pays his debt to the victims.