UPDATED Monday, September 23, 2013 --- 8:57 a.m.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Witnesses tell investigators that glare from the sun may have been a factor in a series of crashes that left one woman dead and four others injured in Dane County.
Sheriff's officials say 58-year-old Jane Sagen of Madison died when she stepped out of her vehicle after a motorcycle hit it on Highway 30 Saturday. Sagen was struck by another vehicle.
The State Journal says that accident led to a series of other crashes involved eight cars, which left four people injured.
Copyright 2013: Associated Press
Published: Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013 --- 5:40 p.m.
Unlike most weather factors, such as rain and snow, we often don't think of the sun as being dangerous. Drivers can put down their visors, put on their sunglasses, and when they go around a curve the bright rays usually disappear within a matter of seconds. But during Saturday's multi-vehical crash in the town of Blooming Grove, that's all it took--a matter of seconds of blinding light--for someone to be struck and killed on the road.
The woman killed has been identified as Jane Sagen, 58, of Madison. Investigators believe Sagen collided with a motorcycle on State Highway 30 and then got out of her vehicle to see if the person on it was OK. That's when she was hit by another vechicle. This led to a chain collision of eight other cars.
As part of the investigation, Dane Co. Deputy Sheriff Joe Carril says he took pictures of the scene Sunday morning, to get an idea of just how bad the sun glare was during the time of the wreck.
"The sun is a very significant factor at 6:49 a.m. when it comes up almost directly in line with the road way," Carril said.
He reminds drivers to be aware of their surroundings, slow down and increase their following distance if they experience any types of visibility issues on the road.
"One of the things I've always found helpful, is instead of trying to look forward, look down and off to your right so you can keep sight of the fog line or the edge of the road way, and yet you're not getting that blinding sunlight directly in your eyes," Carril said.
Law enforcement did not cite anyone involved in the pile-up because deputies concluded no one was at fault. They say it was merely a series of unfortunate events made worse by the sunny skies.