16-13284 – Individual crashes vehicle into garage.
On Monday at 6:10 pm, a 37-year-old North Fond du Lac, Wisconsin man was eastbound on STH 33 in the 4700 block when he left the roadway and entered the south ditch line. The vehicle continued to travel for about 200 yards before striking an attached garage of a home. Witnesses estimated the driver hit the building at approximately 40 mph, and they did not see any brake lights on the vehicle prior to the collision. The property owner came outside and observed the vehicle imbedded in the garage and tried to break the rear window of the van with an axe in an effort to reach the driver. The property owner eventually pushed through the debris in the garage and noticed the driver was completely unresponsive. Upon deputies arrival, the driver was still unresponsive and the vehicle was still in drive with the front tires spinning. The driver still had his foot on the accelerator. The deputy was able to make verbal contact with the driver who shut the vehicle off and crawled out. The driver was transported to Froedtert St. Joseph’s Hospital and his condition began to improve greatly. Medical staff advised it appeared the driver suffered a seizure which was consistent with the deputy’s observations that drugs and alcohol did not appear to be a contributing factor. Damage was estimated at about $50,000. The driver only suffered minor injuries as a result of the collision. Enforcement action, including a Driver Condition Report, is pending since the medical problem was pre-existing and the driver acknowledged not taking his prescription for 2 days.
It will be interesting to see how the legal case on this works out. If I am the guy’s car insurance company, I wouldn’t want to pay for the damages because he caused it by his own negligence. He has a preexisting condition that was presumably treatable, refused treatment, and drove a car. It is reckless negligence, plain and simple. But then where does that leave the homeowner? Hopefully he has home insurance, but they might be uneasy about paying too. This was, after all, not an Act of God. It was caused by someone else’s negligence.
I’m glad that nobody was seriously injured. This could have gone a lot worse. But the driver needs to be held accountable for risking everyone’s life and property by Driving Unmedicated.