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Investigators: Glare from sun caused fatal crash

By Margo Spann, mspann@wisctv.com
Published On: Sep 23 2013 07:36:15 PM CDT
Updated On: Sep 23 2013 08:03:19 PM CDT

Channel3000.com file photo

MADISON, Wis. -

Investigators said glare from the sun caused the crash that killed a 58-year-old woman in a nine-car pile-up.

The Dane County Sheriff's Office said a motorcyclist and a car collided on Highway 30 around 7 a.m. Saturday.

Mitchel Moll was rear-ended in the Saturday morning crash and is taking some time off work to deal with his aching back.

"I had my visor down covering the sun and my sunglasses on, and I still couldn't see anything. I mean, you could see just about a little of the white line,” said Moll. "If you looked off to the side you could see, but coming straight on it was just gold."

The Wisconsin State Patrol isn't investigating this crash but said drivers should use their visors and slow down.

"Reduce your traveling speed and increase your following distance. Pay a little closer attention to the traffic that you're following," said Trooper Todd Weinberger.

According to AAA, these types of crashes are more common in the spring and fall when the sun is lower in the sky.

"This weekend’s crash is a tragic reminder of what I think we can call one of the silent dangers of driving," said AAA spokesperson Pam Moen.

Moen also recommended making sure you keep your dashboard clear of clutter and be careful what you use to clean it with.

"Those shiny products that you can put on when you clean and detail your car can make the glare worse,” said Moen.

Moll said his truck was totaled after getting rear-ended and his back is still hurting, but he said things could have been worse.

"The driver behind me, I asked her if she had any sunglasses. Then I realized if I hadn't had my sunglasses on, I probably would have hit someone too,” said Moen.

The State Patrol also recommends getting a pair of polarized sunglasses and making sure your windshield is clean both inside and out.

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