Pedestrian Killed at Wisconsin Campground Music Fest

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June 24, 2011 by   - () Leave a Comment

A 20-year-old Richfield, Wis., man attending Country USA was killed early Thursday (June 23) while crossing the northbound lanes of Highway 41, WBAY-TV, Green Bay, reported.

Officers say he crossed three fences and was trying to get to the Sleepy Hollow campgrounds on the other side of the highway.

Some are wondering if this incident, along with others in the past, will mean more safety changes for the event. But both the Winnebago County Sheriff's Department and Oshkosh Police Department say it isn't making them change their policies, at least so far.

"There's not anything we can do to prevent somebody from crossing three barriers on to U.S. Highway 41," Lieutenant Todd Christie of the sheriff's department said.

This is the second year in a row that a pedestrian has been hit by a car near Country USA grounds.

Last year, two women walking on Washburn Avenue were struck by a drunken driver who fled the scene. Both women were injured.

It's a pattern police want to stop, but at the same time they feel there's only so much they can do when they're handling Country USA crowds.

"There comes a point where personal responsibility also needs to play into this, and the taxpayers in general can't afford to, you know, have someone assigned to watch every person who attends an event," Lt. Kevin Konrad, Oshkosh Police Department, said.

Changes aren't totally out of the question. Oshkosh police monitor the frontage road by Country USA grounds.

No one is assigned to keep an eye on people climbing fences, but that could change.

"That hasn't been a problem in the past, so, you know, now that this has come up it will be something we'll have to take a look at. Not saying we'll do anything different in the future, but we may," Konrad said.

Country USA owners didn't want to do an interview Thursday but said their thoughts and prayers are with the victim's family.

Meantime, following the festival, police and other officials will meet to talk about safety concerns, and this is certainly expected to be part of those talks.

"It's a very unfortunate situation of why that gentleman was out on the roadway, and we may never know why he decided to take that path," Lt. Christie said.

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