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Alcohol a factor in three fatalities near Janesville

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Stan Milam
August 20, 2012

— Authorities say alcohol was a factor in two separate crashes that killed three people in the town of Janesville late Saturday night and early Sunday morning.

Tara Carlson, 39, Janesville, was arrested on one count of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle and three counts of causing injury by intoxicated use of a vehicle after her car ran a stop sign at Highway 11 and County B shortly before 10:30 p.m. Saturday.

Her car struck a vehicle operated by Randall J. Owens, 64, Footville. A passenger in Owens' vehicle, James M. Menard, 64, Chicago, was pronounced dead at the scene. Owens, his wife, Ellen, 56, and Ruth A. Coyle, 57, Chicago, were treated and released from Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center, Janesville.

In the other accident, two area teens, Travis Simon, 19, of Edgerton and Jose Emmanuel Ocelotl, 18, of Janesville, were killed when the car driven by Simon rolled over in the 5200 block of West Mineral Point Road shortly after 2 a.m. Sunday. Simon and Ocelot, a front-seat passenger, were not wearing seat belts and were ejected from the vehicle. Three other passengers were treated and released with what authorities said were non-life threatening injuries.

Alcohol was a factor in both accidents, according to reports from the Rock County Sheriff's Office.

Med Flight transported Carlson to University Hospital, Madison. A sheriff's office spokesman said she was in critical condition with non-life threatening injuries.

Deputies reported that Carlson was driving a Chevrolet Impala north on the Highway 11 bypass when it failed to stop for the stop sign at the intersection with County B, the former Highway 11 that becomes West Court Street in Janesville. Carlson's vehicle struck Owens' vehicle, a Kia. When deputies arrived, the Impala was on fire. Deputies said Janesville firefighters extinguished the fire and Carlson was extricated from her car.

Deputies report that the Audi A4 driven by Simon was behind two other vehicles traveling west on Mineral Point Road. Simon lost control while attempting to pass the two vehicles.

"Speed and alcohol are believed to be a factor in the crash," Capt. Jude Maurer of the sheriff's office said in his report.

The Audi was severely damaged and appeared to have rolled over several times, according to reports. The vehicle went into a skid, entered the south ditch and began to roll, deputies said. The vehicle came to rest about 30 feet from the road on its wheels.

Coroner Jenifer Keach pronounced Simon dead at the scene. Ocelotl was taken to Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center, Janesville, where he was pronounced dead.

Three passengers in Simon's vehicle "fled the scene prior to law enforcement's arrival," Maurer said. They were later located. Two were treated and released at Mercy. The third was treated and released at St. Mary's Janesville Hospital.

A sheriff's office spokesman said the names of the three survivors were not being released while the investigation of the accident continues.

Also, a Lake Geneva trucker, Frank Shackelford, 57, was killed Saturday afternoon in Ohio when he was pinned between two trucks.

Ohio state troopers report that Shackelford's rig started rolling and pinned him against another truck at a rest stop along Interstate 76 near Ravenna, Ohio. They reported that Shackelford got out of his truck but failed to apply the emergency brakes, and his truck rolled forward as he was walking between his cab and the back of another truck.



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