Wildlife on roadway leads to fatal accident

Wildlife on roadway leads to fatal accident

Investigators with the Madison Police Department believe a woman stopped her car on Highway 30 Wednesday afternoon to help escort a bird off the road when she was struck and killed by another car.

The accident happened in the eastbound lane just east of Stoughton Road.

The issue of motorists stopping to help get wildlife off of highways is a concern for law enforcement.

“Getting out and trying to herd them yourself is a recipe for disaster, and unfortunately yesterday we heard an unfortunate incident dealing with wildlife on the roadway,” Dane County sheriff’s Deputy Eric Novotny said.

Novotny has patrolled the Beltline for 15 years and has seen incidents of drivers stopping to help wildlife result in traffic accidents. He understands the desire people have to help wildlife caught in traffic but knows the significant danger created by getting out of a car and walking onto a highway.

“Yes, it is a noble cause to protect wildlife on the roadway, but it is not worth your life. Stay in your vehicle, pass them by and call 911,” Novotny said.

Cellphone photos taken on the Beltline the same afternoon as the fatal accident on Highway 30 shows two people herding a family of geese off of the highway. 

Novotny said the individuals were fortunate to not have been hurt or have caused an accident.

“Those two people in the picture are putting their lives in danger,” Novotny said.