Serious Crash Closes STH 69 for Nearly Seven Hours
March 14, 2019
On Friday, March 8, 2019, at approximately 5:49 a.m., the Green County Sheriff's Office received multiple 911 calls reporting a two-vehicle crash on STH 69, between Monticello and New Glarus. Green County Deputies and fire departments from New Glarus and Monticello were sent to the scene, along with ambulances from New Glarus, Monroe, Albany, Belleville, Brooklyn and Fitchburg.
Preliminary investigation indicated that a sport utility vehicle, driven by Gerald K. Heimann, 54, rural Gratiot, was northbound on STH 69 when it slowed for several deer crossing the highway. The sport utility vehicle was struck from behind by a northbound semi tractor and trailer hauling whey driven by Kurt G. Hardie, 58, Fond du Lac, which forced the SUV off of the road and into the ditch.
It was determined that the Heimann vehicle did collide with one of several deer that had crossed STH 69 in the path of the SUV and he was taking evasive action to avoid colliding with the others when struck from behind by the semi. There were no indications that alcohol, cellular phone distractions, or any controlled substances had any involvement in the crash. An initial investigation revealed that a 5-year-old child, who was seated in the rear middle seat, was not wearing a safety belt and a 15-year-old child, who was riding in the rear cargo area of the SUV, was not restrained. The remaining occupants were reported to be wearing safety belts. The SUV sustained extensive damage and was towed from the scene. The family was in the process of traveling to the Wisconsin Girls State Basketball Tournament in Green Bay, WI, to watch the Black Hawk Girls Basketball Team.
Nine occupants of the SUV, including Gerald K. Heimann, 54, rural Gratiot, Kenneth C. Heimann, 85, rural Gratiot, Nancy A. Heimann, 58, rural Gratiot, and six children, ranging in age from 5-16 years old, were transported to hospitals in Monroe and Madison by ambulance. Some of the victims remain hospitalized while others have been released. Hardie was also transported to a hospital. Hardie was wearing a safety belt and has been released from the hospital.
No additional information is available at this point regarding the severity of the injuries to the occupants of the sport utility vehicle.
STH 69 was reopened shortly after 1:30 p.m. by the Green County Highway Department, who supplied barricades and signage.
Deputies will forward investigative reports to the Green County District Attorney upon their completion and the District Attorney will evaluate those reports for any possible charges. No citations were issued on the date of the incident.