June 21, 2011: Video captures trooper's near-miss, accident leading to woman's death
Video captured by the dashboard camera in a Wisconsin State Patrol squad car on June 1 and released recently shows the dangers officers experience along the highways each day.
Joan Bradshaw, 76, of Eden Valley, Minn., died shortly after the car driven by her husband John, 75, drifted to the right and struck the rear of a motor coach bus the officer had pulled over on I-94 near Elk Mound. The car missed the squad but struck the rear of the bus before spinning toward the median. John Bradshaw suffered only minor injuries, but his wife died at the scene.
The trooper was about to exit his car to deliver a citation when the crash occurred.
The video serves as a grim reminder of Wisconsin's "move over" law, enacted a decade ago, to protect law enforcement officers, EMS personnel, highway employees and others who must work near moving traffic. The rule requires that drivers change lanes to provide a safety zone for emergency and maintenance vehicles stopped along the roadside with lights flashing. Violators can be cited and fined $263.50 for the offense.
Two state troopers from the District 6 Eau Claire post have died in collisions involving passing motorists in the past 15 years.
Officer Deborah McMenamin was struck and killed by a
passing motorist while she conducted a traffic stop in 1989. In 1993 Trooper William Schoenberger died after his squad car was struck from behind by a semi-truck. Both crashes occurred on I-94 east of Eau Claire.