UPDATE: Slippery roads cause several accidents on US 51
LINCOLN COUNTY (WAOW) -
Accidents closed down a portion of US 51 in Lincoln County Friday morning.
According to an email from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, several accidents blocked the northbound lanes near Lincoln Drive outside of Merrill for a few hours.
A Lincoln County dispatcher said that there were minor injuries.
The dispatcher said four squads responded.
The accident was cleared just after 1:00 p.m.
The DOT reports that slippery roads may have contributed to the crashes.
MERRILL (PRESS RELEASE) -To
say that the Merrill Fire and EMS department was stretched beyond their
resources Friday morning would be a huge understatement. At 11:11, on Friday morning
(February 17, 2012) Lincoln County’s 911 dispatch center paged Merrill Fire
& EMS for a 2 vehicle rollover accident with patients injured and entrapped
in their vehicles, on Highway 51 just south of County highway H, in the town of
Due to the
number of vehicles and possible number of patients involved in the crash,
Merrill’s command dispatched Medic #2, Medic #3 and Rescue #1 to the accident
scene on 51. Merrill’s Medic 1 was already on a medic call up near Gleason and
was transporting a patient to Good Samaritan at the time of the initial
dispatch for the Highway 51 accident. Merrill crews went enroute at 11:12 and
were notified of a second rollover just south of the initial 2 car accident.
Merrill’s command personnel requested Tomahawk EMS to head south and asked for
Wausau EMS to standby in the City of Merrill, as well as requesting a air
standby for the nearest helicopter should the need arise.
traveled north up 51 and found a snow squall line starting in the area of
Lincoln Dr., just north of Merrill, road conditions had apparently deteriorated
very rapidly catching motorist traveling at highway speeds off guard thus
creating the chaos of rollover accidents. After arrival on scene Merrill Fire
and EMS quickly assessed the patients and fortunately found only minor injuries
at both crash sites. A 3rd rollover was reported a short distance to
the North of the initial crash, but no injuries were reported there.
County Sheriff’s Department shut down the north bound lanes for about 15
minutes while emergency crews sorted through the accidents, while working on
the slippery roadway, as well as rerouted traffic to Lincoln Drive.
crews were called to the scene and the traffic was opened back up at about
11:45. “It was incredible that none of the patients in any of the vehicles needed
medical transport after seeing the damage to the respective vehicles while
pulling up with Rescue 1”said Captain Mike Drury of the Merrill Fire
Department. “It was amazing how fast road conditions changed in a couple miles”
he added “we and the people involved were lucky”!