LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW)-- Icy roads led to a crash involving a sheriff's deputy Thursday night near Holmen.
Freezing rain turned to ice instantly on the roads, causing a number of crashes on Highway 53. The first incident happened on Highway 53 north, near Briggs Road. A deputy pulled over to help those two cars, with his lights on, and another car hit the deputy's car from behind, making it a four car crash.
A few other cars hit their breaks to avoid pile up and ended up in the ditch themselves. Several people were taken to the hospital, all with non-life threatening injuries. Because the crash involved a deputy the state patrol is handling the investigation.
The crash brings to light the dangers officers or any emergency worker can face when they stop to assist a motorist. There is a law in place to keep the roads safe, and it's known as ‘The Move Over Law.'
If you see a vehicle on the road with emergency lights flashing, you must move over a lane until you're safely past. If you cannot change lanes, you must slow down and maintain a safe speed until you are well past the stopped vehicle.
If you fail to move over or slow down, you face a $250 ticket and three demerit points on your license. If your actions result in a crash, you can have your license suspended and even face prison time, and it's not just police cars you need to move over for.
"The emergency vehicles not only include us, but fire trucks, tow trucks, county highway maintenance, they're all applicable vehicles," said Daren Schieldt, a patrol deputy. "And in those situations people need to move over or slow down, regardless of what color lights are on the car."
Minnesota has a similar law that requires drivers to change lanes or slow down for stopped vehicles.
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