Woman’s death reminds us to be watchful on the road

A 54-year-old woman from Chicago became the 28th person killed while walking on Wisconsin roads this year, in a crash along Highway 50 near Lake Geneva on Aug. 16.

Jeanne K. Mulville-Rowell was struck by an eastbound car about 11:25 p.m. while walking close to the fog line about 100 yards east of Chapin Road.

Her death is a sobering reminder that motorists need to be watchful for people walking and pedestrians need to keep themselves in positions that provide maximum safety, especially along main roads with high speeds and little traffic control. The Wisconsin Bike Fed, through the Share & Be Aware program, provides basic tips to reduce risk, injuries and death.

The exact nature of Mulville-Rowell’s crash is not known, but the crash may have been avoided given more space on the road, or slower speed. No citations are currently being pursued against the driver, Christopher Robistow.

He pulled over immediately after the crash and cooperated with law enforcement, submitting to a blood draw.

Mulville-Rowell, a wife and mother of four, appeared to be walking against the flow of traffic, as rules of the road would dictate.

Highway 50 in that area is a divided highway, with two lanes of traffic in each direction. It also accommodates high speeds, which often contribute to crashes and fatalities.

The speed limit on Highway 50 is as high as 65 mph in some sections, and drops to 45 in others. Pedestrians are not likely to survive a crash involving a vehicle traveling at more than 40 mph.

And a car traveling at 65 mph requires nearly 70 yards to stop after a motorist has realized they are about to hit someone.

Moving over and slowing down can save lives.

Whether you ride a bike, drive or walk, please share the message with others that obeying the speed limit and giving pedestrians space can save a neighbor. Following those basic rules would help reverse a frightening trend in Wisconsin, a sharp increase in the number pf people killed while walking. There were 54 pedestrian deaths in 2015, up from 42 the previous year, and above the annual average of 46.

Working with the DOT, the Wisconsin Bike Fed uses the safety messages of the Share & Be Aware program to remind motorists and all people using Wisconsin roads to look out for others.


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