Crash death is reminder of winter driving safety - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Crash death is reminder of winter driving safety

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Brad Turbyfill Brad Turbyfill

MADISON (WKOW) -- The death of a Cottage Grove man has authorities concerned of the increased risk for drivers on the roads in the bitter cold and snowy weather.

Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney tells 27 News all drivers should be prepared in case you go off the road and get stranded.

Around 7 a.m. Monday, a county worker came across a crashed vehicle on I-94 just east of I-39. Officials say the vehicle had left the road and rolled end-over-end. The driver was thrown from the window and killed.

Mahoney says the man was outside the vehicle for some time, exposed to the bitter cold, before he was found.

Pending autopsy results, authorities have not released a cause of death or the man's identity, but his father confirmed to 27 News he is 31-year-old Brad Turbyfill.

Turbyfill's friends say they still can't believe it happened.

"He's pretty much like a brother to me," says Scott Smail, a close friend. "It's very tragic what happened and I'm still in shock."
 
"[Brad] always had a smile on his face," Mindy Gudmandsen says. "Very fun loving, carefree; just very funny."
 
Turbyfill's father tells 27 News that authorities told him his son likely died on impact, but his friends say they still wish someone had come across Turbyfill sooner. They hope his death is a reminder for the public to always help a stranded driver on the roads.
 
Sheriff Mahoney says if you see a stranded car, even if there are lots of other drivers around, you should call 911 right away. Although, he says you shouldn't get out of the car to avoid getting in a crash yourself.
 
"Stay in your car if at all possible because that will provide you the greatest level of protection from other motorists as they're traveling down the road," says Mahoney. "You're much better off making that phone call to 911 and calling in that you see an occupied vehicle slideoff in an approximate area." 
 
Mahoney recommends always being prepared in the cold weather, in case you get stuck. Have a winter survival kit in your vehicle and make sure you have a full tank of gas, so you can run the engine if needed. 
 
On New Year's Eve, deputies will be out in full force patrolling for drunk drivers and making sure everyone gets home safely. Mahoney says anyone out drinking should not risk driving home. Instead, people celebrating should use the free ride program. All Metro bus routes are free and cabs are free of charge Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. 7,000 riders made use of the program last year.
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