Minor injuries at New London intersection
By Scott Bellile
A Koeppen’s Medical Transport van was hit by a sports utility vehicle and flipped on its side shortly before 11:15 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 12, in New London.
The van’s Clintonville driver was not injured.
According to New London police, an SUV traveling eastbound on East Beacon Avenue turned left onto Mill Street without stopping at the stop sign.
The SUV driver, confused by her GPS unit at the time, struck a van belonging to Koeppen’s Medical Transport in Clintonville, New London Police Chief Jeff Schlueter said.
The SUV hit the rear of the van, Schlueter said, and the van spun out and hit a tree. The Koeppen’s van then fell onto its passenger side and scattered glass atop the road. The SUV sustained front end damage from the collision and was parked at the end of a nearby home’s driveway.
The SUV driver, a 69-year-old woman from Queensbury, New York, walked to the ambulance and was transported to New London’s ThedaCare Medical Center for injuries that Schlueter said didn’t appear to be severe. She was issued a citation.
The 67-year-old Clintonville man driving the Koeppen’s van and the 70-year-old husband of the SUV driver were not hospitalized. Koeppen’s had no passengers in the van.
Dave Berndt of New London said he witnessed the Koeppen’s van hit a tree, spin and flip.
“I just got a quick glimpse of it. It happened so fast,” he said.
Richard Koeppen, president of Koeppen’s Medical Transport, said the company’s approximately 46 vehicles travel almost one million miles per year with few accidents.
The driver was shaken by the crash but was back to work the next day, Koeppen said. The van may be totaled but an adjustor hadn’t confirmed that at the time.
“It just so happened we were in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Koeppen said. “Fortunately nobody got hurt. Vans can always get replaced. It’s the human element that cannot.”
Although Beacon and Mill form a four-way intersection, the intersection is not a four-way stop. Northbound vehicles on Mill have no stop sign but must yield if turning right. Eastbound vehicles on Beacon have a stop sign but do not need to stop if turning right. Vehicles traveling westbound on Beacon and southbound on Mill must obey common stop sign rules.
“It’s such a bad intersection,” New London resident Sommer said.
Schlueter said the number of annual accidents at the intersection isn’t noteworthy for the high amount of traffic it receives. There are no plans to make changes at the intersection.
The intersection has seen two accidents so far this year, four in 2014 and none in 2013, Schlueter said.