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Traffic fatalities more than double in St. Croix County

Traffic deaths on St. Croix County roadway took a sharp rise in 2011 over one of the lowest number of fatalities in recent history.

Records at the sheriff's department show 13 deaths in the county in 2011 compared with just six in 2010. One would have to dig back to the bicentennial year of 1976 to find fewer deaths, five, on county roads.

Meanwhile Wisconsin ended 2011 with 569 traffic deaths, which is seven more than 2010 but 59 fewer than the previous five-year average, according to preliminary statistics from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT).

The last time Wisconsin had fewer than 600 traffic fatalities for four years in a row was 84 years ago from 1924 to 1927, WisDOT said.

Traffic deaths among drivers and passengers increased from 395 in 2010 to 410 in 2011, which was approximately a 4 percent increase. Fatalities for bi- cyclists and pedestrians also increased slightly in 2011 compared with 2010, according to the department.

Milwaukee County had 48 traffic fatalities and Dane County 38 at the top of the chart. Ashland, Iron, Menomonie, Pepin and Washburn counties each recorded one death in 2011.