Fatal crash fuels calls for Hwy. 33-I intersection fix

Third deadly accident at rural Saukville crossing lends urgency to plans for improvements, including possible roundabout
Ozaukee Press staff

Another fatal traffic accident occurred Sunday at the intersection of Highways 33 and I, lending urgency to efforts to improve the Town of Saukville crossing.

According to the Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Office, at about 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 21, a 2010 Ford Fusion driven by Raymond Klumb of Mequon was traveling south on Highway I and entered onto Highway 33 where it struck a 2000 Honda Goldwing motorcycle, which was eastbound on Highway 33.

Lorrie Shirley, 61, of Grafton, who was a passenger on the motorcycle, was killed. The motorcycle driver, Gregory Prellwitz, also of Grafton, was seriously injured and transported by Flight for Life to Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa. 

Klumb also sustained serious injuries and was taken to Aurora Medical Center in Grafton, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Saukville Police and Fire Departments, Mequon Police and Cedarburg Emergency Government assisted with the crash.

It’s the third fatal accident at the intersection in the last five years, all involving motorcycles. The previous two fatal crashes occurred on Nov. 14, 2016, and Oct. 21, 2018, Sheriff’s Capt. Marshall Hermann said.

State Rep. Rob Brooks (R-Saukville) issued a statement Monday saying “plans are being made for some new signage or other methods to try to immediately improve the safety of everyone that drives through this intersection.”

Brooks said state Department of Transportation Secretary Craig Thompson “assured me that funding is available and his staff will move quickly to take corrective measures.”

Thompson also has offered to visit the area to discuss long term solutions for  the intersection, “which was reconfigured 15 years ago for the same safety concerns,” Brooks said in the statement.

From July 2014 to July 2019, eight crashes have occurred at the intersection, Hermann said. Of those, two were property damage incidents and four resulted in injuries, in addition to the fatalities.

  Last month, state transportation officials said they are considering constructing a roundabout at the intersection, which is located in the Town of Saukville, to improve safety there.

Town of Saukville officials said the DOT had reached out to them seeking feedback. Supervisors estimated the cost of a roundabout would be about $1.5 million or more because it would require purchasing nearby property. 

Town officials said there had been other non-fatal accidents and near misses at the intersection, due largely to the volume of north-south traffic on Highway I and the speed of motorists on Highway 33.

Rural roundabouts are not common but not unheard of. One such roundabout is located at highways 60 and G near Jackson in Washington County.

Last month, DOT Safety Engineer Dan Dedrick said a roundabout is just one option being considered

“Various, potential safety improvement options will be explored in our analysis,” he said. 

Once a study is complete, DOT officials will consult with the town and “determine an appropriate method for the public’s input,” Dedrick said.

  DOT spokesman Michael Pyritz said Tuesday it’s too early to know if Sunday’s fatal crash will speed up the process.

“Anytime there is a fatal incident we are always concerned,” Pyritz said. “Clearly, this location is and has been on our radar. But until we get all the details, it’s premature to make any kind of definitive statement and know whether it will change the course we’re on.”

Brooks said he had received numerous suggestions from constituents and others on possible remedies at the intersection. Those suggestions included installing a roundabout, installing rumble strips and lowering the speed limit on Highway I, increasing the presence of Sheriff’s Office squad cars in that area and increasing signage or striping to discourage the use of turn lanes on Highway 33 as passing lanes.

On Tuesday, Klumb was cited for failure to yield, resulting in death. He is due to appear in Ozaukee County Circuit Court on Aug. 8. 

Sheriff’s Lt. DeMaine Milbach said the incident is being reviewed by District Attorney Adam Gerol,  “as he does with most fatal accidents,” to determine if there is a basis for criminal charges to be filed. 

The Sheriff’s Office has not requested that Klumb be charged criminally.

“But the DA’s Office reserves the right to bring charges in the future after review of all the facts,” Milbach said.


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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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