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Increased Efforts To Slow Traffic In Deadly Wis. Work Zone

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(credit: Jupiter Images)

(credit: Jupiter Images)

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – In response to a crash that killed two teenagers and critically injured a third on Monday, two Wisconsin agencies are increasing safety measures along a stretch of I-94 that’s under construction.

Two boys from New Richmond, 16-year-old Jordan Johnson and 17-year-old Joshua Goodrich, were killed Monday when the SUV they were in slammed into a truck that had slowed in the construction zone near Hudson, Wis. The 17-year old driver of the SUV was critically hurt.


It’s just the latest crash in that zone, and a Wisconsin transportation official says all are the result of inattention on the part of drivers.

“Every single one of (the crashes) was caused by a motorist not paying attention behind the wheel and coming up on slowed or stopped traffic,” said Chris Ouellette, Regional Communications Manager for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. She says since April, there have been 11 crashes resulting in three deaths and many serious injuries.

As a result, the department will be increasing the number of signs as drivers approach the work zone, and the Wisconsin State Patrol will be increasing its presence along that I-94 corridor.

It will be a continued effort, as the project is expected to continue through next year and into 2014.

Oullette says ultimate responsibility is up to motorists.

“There’s construction in Wisconsin and Minnesota all the time, and it’s just critical that people are aware of what’s going on around them,” Ouellette said. “It doesn’t matter how old you are, if you’re a licensed driver, your number one responsibility is to drive your car.”

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