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Friday, September 10, 2010

Buzzed Madison Woman Rear-Ends Truck Waiting for Train

I guess it's Drunken Idiots Week here in Lake County. First my fair city makes headlines with a volunteer fireman getting a DUI at the wheel of the firetruck. Now on Wednesday on Highway 34, another driver hitting the hooch nearly drives herself and another motorist into a train:

At about 4:45 p.m., Allen D. Krogstad, 45, of Wentworth was westbound on the highway and had stopped his Ford F-150 pickup at the crossing for a passing train.

Rebecca S. Lamma, 50, of Madison was also westbound on SD-34 and came up to Krogstad's vehicle while it was stopped.

Both drivers were alone in the vehicles.

Before she could come to a full stop, Lamma's Chevrolet Impala struck the pickup in the rear at an estimated 35 mph.

Krogstad was sent to Madison Community Hospital with reported neck and back injuries.

Lamma had admitted to the consumption of alcohol and was tested at 0.061. She was cited for no driver's license, careless driving and following too closely [Chuck Clement, "Wentworth Man Injured in SD-34 Accident," Madison Daily Leader, 2010.09.09].

I can only imagine the fear the pickup driver felt: Holy crap: that lady's not stopping. The train's in front of me. I've got nowhere to go. Thank goodness for Ford engineering. I'm sure those neck and back injuries are no picnic, but that guy's lucky the coroner wasn't disentangling his neck and back from the undercarriage of the train.

As for the woman "following too closely"...
  1. It's 4:45 p.m. It's not even happy hour yet. Why on earth are you drinking?
  2. No driver's license? I know the computers were down and the line was long at the Lake County driver's license station Tuesday, but really, what are you doing on the road in the first place?
  3. It's not like the guy in front of you romped on the brakes suddenly to avoid a turtle. That's a gosh-darn train in front of you. You weren't even drunk-drunk, just buzzed: so how do you not see a train that ought to be visible from a half-mile away?
Perhaps we should be thankful that Ms. Lamma has demonstrated the safety advantages of having only two lanes on Highway 34. Were the road a four-laner, Ms. Lamma might have been driving even faster and would have plowed Mr. Krogstad and herself right into that train. Or she might have been in that second lane and not had the convenience of using Mr. Krogstad's pickup as a speed bump to save her from the train.

The moral for my fellow Madisonians: put down the beer, the phone, or whatever the heck else is taking your eyes off the road.
Update 09:33 CDT: Dang, maybe Madison should have applied for some of the $1.4 million Uncle Sam just gave 50 South Dakota communities for alcohol prevention.


  1. It seems like we're becoming a group of self-centered narcisists, interested only in our own selfish needs, ignoring the safety and needs of others for our own personal gratification.

    When we get behind the wheel, we are all in control of a two ton killing machine that is unforgiving. Both hands on the wheel, eyes on the road, no texting, no cell phones and we'll save half the lives being lost today. Oh, I forgot...No drinking before driving! Very simple basics of drivers training.

    Triple the penalties for careless, drunk and reckless driving and the numbers will drop dramatically.

  2. Will she be running for Congress?

  3. I'm finding it hard to resist that bait......


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