On Sept. 29, 2017 at approximately 11:17 A.M., the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office responded to a motor vehicle crash with injury on USH 151 near Hemlock Road, in the Township of Beaver Dam, Dodge County, Wisconsin.
Preliminary investigation shows a Dodge Grand Caravan operated by 81-year-old Josef S. Merk of rural Fox Lake was traveling southbound on the west side gravel shoulder of USH 151, approaching the intersection with Hemlock Rd. A Chevrolet Equinox SUV operated by Sarah A. Aellig, 25, of Waupun was also traveling southbound on USH 151 on the inside lane of travel, approaching the intersection with Hemlock Road.
The Dodge van abruptly turned eastbound and traveled across the southbound lanes of USH 151 to initiate a turn eastbound on Hemlock Rd. and traveled into the path of the southbound Chevrolet SUV.
The Chevrolet SUV struck the Dodge van on the driver’s side, causing the van to enter the median of USH 151 south of Hemlock Rd. where the vehicle overturned and came to rest on its wheels. Merk was ejected from his vehicle and suffered serious, life-threatening injuries. The Chevrolet SUV also came to rest in the median of USH 151 south of Hemlock Rd. The three occupants in the Chevrolet SUV, Aellig and her two children, a 5-week-old daughter and a 5-year-old son, suffered non-life threatening injuries.
Aellig and her children sought medical treatment on their own, and the children were transferred by ambulance to American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison for further medical evaluation.
Merk suffered life-threatening injuries and was flown from the scene by Flight for Life to Theda Clark Hospital in Neenah.
Assisting at the scene was: Town of Beaver Dam Police Dept., City of Beaver Dam Police Dept., Beaver Dam EMS and Fire Department, Flight for Life and the Dodge County Emergency Response Team.
The crash remains under investigation by the Dodge County Crash Investigation Team and the Dodge County Medical Examiner.