Posted on Jul 07, 2011

Dane County authorities said that when an SUV driven by a 73-year-old man of Madison crossed the median on Highway 12, it sideswiped an oncoming car, driven by a Fort Atkinson man, and ended up striking an oncoming minivan head-on.

Both the SUV driver and his 71-year-old female passenger died on the scene, according to a report. The minivan driver, aged 52, of Verona, was also killed. A 17-year-old passenger in the minivan suffered minor injuries and was taken to a local hospital.

The crash occurred last Sunday at about 4.30 p.m., near Cottage Grove, east of Madison. Deputies are still investigating.

The human toll of crashes caused by vehicles suddenly crossing the center line on a highway or rural road is huge. There is no escaping the devastation caused by vehicles colliding head-on.

Even seat belts and air bags are often unable to protect occupants because the impact is too great. Some of these accidents are caused by drivers suffering a stroke or other medical issue. Others are caused by drivers who are distracted or inattentive. Still more are the result of driving under the influence. One thing is sure, head-on collisions more often than not literally mean the end of the journey for the unfortunate victims.