On Sunday, January 21, Madison police were alerted of a pedestrian on the Bloor Viaduct that was suffering from hypothermia after being hit by a car. She was reportedly in the hospital for over a week before being discharged.
It happened just one day after Madison Emergency Services had been in touch with the public on Facebook to warn of the possibility of slippery roads after three inches of snow fell on the city.
READ MORE: Authorities warn about slippery Madison roads after 3 inches of snow
Although rain had fallen over the past few days, police said there was just a little snow on the ground, which should prevent slippery roads from having “hydraulic issues.”
The car police observed on the sidewalk happened to have been braking in snowy conditions. According to the driver, it was the car’s own fault since it was preparing to slide, and they didn’t have enough time to do so before hitting the woman.
READ MORE: Madison Police: Multiple crashes on one stretch of highway
So what caused the sidewalk to stay covered in snow for four days?
While being questioned by Madison police, the man who hit the woman said he had been heading north when the car (attached to a semi truck) ran into him. According to the victim, the semi never saw the woman who was walking along the sidewalk.
READ MORE: Madison police explain evacuation of parts of Madison due to hazardous road conditions
The victim said he turned around in the roundabout to cross the road to the hospital, but the truck hit the pavement first.
The day of the incident, three inches of snow fell on Madison, three to four inches the following day, and five to eight inches on Saturday night.
The victim in the accident admitted to wearing sandals, because they had been used for a foot injury, on a slippery and icy evening.
READ MORE: Was Madison hit with more snow in a 24-hour period than Ontario?
Many of the old pedestrians on the sidewalk were unsophisticated, using what time of day and season may have dictated. Some people were doing their daily routines, especially walking home after visiting family, and on occasion were homeless. Others were also on their way to work, or to college.
While in heavy traffic, bicyclists were added to the mix in the square kilometre area between Bloor and the Bloor stop. If you’re on a bicycle, it’s important to always be aware of your surroundings and take extra care on icy streets.
READ MORE: Fatigue caused massive traffic jams in Madison
On Monday morning, the area in front of the police station on Market Street had melted and some of the problematic sidewalks were starting to widen, but it appears police are not making it their full-time goal to clean the sidewalks.
READ MORE: What you need to know about Wisconsin’s 30-year snowfall record
An urgent call for cleaning the sidewalks came from some of the residents on Facebook, who are tired of walking across the slippery streets. While the Elmwood Square corporate office in Madison is closed on Fridays, many worked Friday, and it’s likely there were more accidents during this time period.
The Bloor Viaduct remains closed for some roads, and there are multiple options for people to clear walkways away from busy areas such as Bank Street.
READ MORE: Ice and snow cause multiple injuries in Wisconsin