ROCK COUNTY (WKOW) --- Three people are injured after a head-on collision on the Four-Mile Bridge on U.S. Highway 14 over the Rock River.
Rock County Deputies sent out the following release:
On Thursday, December 26, at 10:50 a.m., Rock County Deputies and Janesville Fire/EMS responded to a two vehicle head-on injury accident that occurred on the Four-Mile Bridge, located at 2800 W. USH 14. The bridge spans the Rock River.
Upon arrival, deputies found a 2012 Ford Escape with heavy front end damage in the westbound lane. The Escape's rear driver's side tire was hanging over the bridge side-barrier. The Escape was driven by 54-year-old Cathy Venema of Darien, WI and her daughter, 20-year-old Shea Lahr of Clovis New Mexico occupied the front passenger seat. In addition to the Escape, a 2003 GMC Envoy also with heavy front end damage, driven by 72-year-old Leslie Turkleson of Brooklyn, WI was located in the eastbound lane. A third vehicle, a 2012 Chevy Silverado driven by 38-year-old Chad Howlett of Evansville, WI, also was involved in the crash but sustained minor damage.
The accident investigation reveals that Turkleson was traveling in the eastbound lane of Highway 14 approaching the Four-Mile Bridge with Howlett following behind. Venema was on the westbound lane approaching the bridge. Upon both vehicles driving over the bridge, Turkleson lost control on the ice covered roadway, causing him to cross the centerline striking Venema head-on. The force of the collision pushed Venema's Escape up onto the bridge-barrier. Howlett was able to navigate past the head-on collision, sustaining minor damage. Howlett was not injured.
The Envoy and the Escape blocked both lanes of traffic. Janesville Fire had to extricate Venema and Turkleson from their vehicles. Lahr was also extricated. All three were transported to Mercy Hospital in Janesville. Venema was listed in serious condition while both Turkleson and Lahr were in stable condition. An icy road condition was the main contributing factor that lead to the crash. All occupants wore seatbelts. No citations were issued and no further investigation is scheduled.
Highway 14 was closed at the Four-Mile Bridge for one hour and forty minutes. S.T.O.C. (State Traffic Operations Center) was requested to respond to inspect the viability of the bridge side-barrier. The bridge remains open with traffic flowing freely.
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