TOWN OF WESTPORT, Wis. - A crash involving a car and a dump truck has killed one person and closed Highway 19 for more than three hours, according to Dane County Sheriff's Office.
The crash occurred at Highway 19 and River Road, just west of Interstate 39/90. The crash was reported at 10:15 a.m. Monday.
The driver of a 2009 Toyota Venza was driving north on River Road when he did not yield from a stop sign to a 2007 Mack semitrailer that was traveling west on Highway 19, investigators said. The driver of the Toyota, a 33-year-old man from Windsor, was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle.
"Well, I can tell you that one of our reconstructionist, one of the first things he said to me was even though this was a significant crash with a very large debris field, based just on his initial assessment and looking at the vehicle, indicated that this could have been a survivable crash had the person been wearing a seat belt," said Lt. Tim Schuetz, of the Dane County Sheriff's Office.
The 33-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene, deputies said. His name will be released after family has been notified.
The driver of the semitrailer, 64-year-old Anthony Helt, of Middleton, was carrying a full load of gravel at the time of the crash, investigators said. His truck came to a stop in a farm field where it started on fire. Helt was not injured.
Highway 19 was closed from the interstate to Highway 113, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. It was reopened at 1:52 p.m.
Monday's crash is far from the first one to happen at the intersection.
"It is an intersection that we have had serious crashes at before," Schuetz said. "I can't tell you the exact date, but I do know that there were some renovations and updates made to the intersection in the last few years."
According to Wisconsin Department of Transportation records, there have been 19 crashes at that intersection in the last five years. Five of the crashes involved injuries, but this was the first fatal crash.
The state is planning improvements for that stretch of road, but not until 2019.27409518
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