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Officials Call Concrete Chunk Injuring Motorist “Freak Accident”

Posted on May 20, 2012

After investigating, officials are ready to call the incident in which a softball-sized chunk of concrete fell through a car’s windshield a “freak accident.”

On Tuesday, April 17, Kevin P. Droz—a 50-year-old resident of Fall River—was driving north on Interstate 39/90 in Madison. As he passed below the U.S. Highway 151 overpass, a lump of concrete fell through the windshield of his Pontiac Grand Prix and struck his head, inflicting a serious injury. Despite his wound, Droz managed to drive his car to Columbus Community Hospital. Once hospital staff stabilized his condition, Droz was taken by rescue helicopter to the University of Wisconsin Hospital, where he was initially classified as in critical condition.

Investigators believe that a passing vehicle dislodged the chunk of concrete was dislodged from the highway near the American Parkway exit. According to the Dane County Sheriff’s Department, a piece of concrete over a yard long was found broken off the middle lane of northbound Highway 151 near Nelson Road. Investigators believe that a smaller fragment of this fractured roadway—kicked into the air by an unidentified passing vehicle—injured Droz. Coincidentally, that portion of Highway 151 has been inspected the previous day and was found to be in good repair.

Mike Bie, a spokesperson for the Wisconsin Department of Transpiration, was quoted as saying that the section of the highway “takes a tremendous amount of abuse from vehicles from all shapes and sizes, and unfortunately, something like this can happen quickly. And as a result, there was a freak accident that resulted.”

According to Commissioner Jerry Mandli of the Dane County Highway Department, road conditions can degenerate very quickly, especially during this time of year. 

Workers from the Transportation Department have already repaired the roadway on Highway 151. They say that the fractured concrete section appears to have been part of an expansion joint.

Droz remains at the UW Hospital, where he is now listed in fair condition.

The Madison motor vehicle accident attorneys at the Hupy and Abraham law firm wish Mr. Droz a full and speedy recovery. We are very pleased to hear that, despite his serious injuries, Mr. Droz managed to drive his car safely to the hospital without colliding with another vehicle. In addition, we want to urge all Wisconsin drivers to watch out for debris and obstacles in the road in the spring and summer months, especially in the vicinity of overpasses and road repair zones.

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