UPDATE: Two Killed In Deadly Crash in Rock County

UPDATED: Thursday, December 20, 2012 --- 6:20 a.m.

JANESVILLE, Wis. (AP) -- Two people died when their car slid into the path of a semi on a slippery Rock County highway.

Sheriff's officials say the slick road was a major factor in the crash on Highway 11 about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday. The Midwest's first major snowstorm of the season is creating treacherous road conditions in several states, including Wisconsin.

Forty-one-year-old Jaime Paiz-Gutierrez lost control of his car, crossed the center line and collided with the semi. Paiz-Gutierrez and a 45-year-old passenger, Guadalupe Ortiz, were pronounced dead at the scene. Both were from nearby Footville. The semi driver was treated for minor injuries at a Janesville hospital.

The snow is piling up across Wisconsin where a blizzard warning is posted for some parts of the state.

Copyright 2012: Associated Press
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Posted: Thursday, December 20, 2012 -- 3:00 a.m.

From Rock County Sheriff's Department :

On 12/19/12 at approximately 2128 hours, deputies from the Rock County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a car vs. semi crash on W. STH 11 approximately .5 of a mile west of N. Roherty Road in Center Township. Orfordville Police also responded along with Fire/EMS personnel from the Village of Footville and City of Janesville. Initial responding units began arriving on scene at 2141 hours.

The investigation shows a 2002 Volkswagen Beetle, driven by Jaime Paiz-Gutierrez, age 41, of Footville, was traveling eastbound on W. STH 11 when the driver lost control of the vehicle on the snow and ice covered roadway. The Volkswagen crossed the centerline into the path of a westbound 2011 Peterbuilt semi tractor/trailer, driven by Jeffrey B. Smith, age 46, of Rockford, IL. The semi tractor struck the passenger side of the Volkswagen and the vehicles came to rest blocking both traffic lanes on W. STH 11.

Jaime Paiz-Gutierrez and his passenger, Guadalupe Ortiz, age 45, also of Footville, had been wearing their seatbelts prior to the crash and were trapped inside the vehicle. Paiz-Gutierrez and Ortiz were both pronounced dead at the scene by Rock County Chief Deputy Coroner Lou Smit. Jeffrey Smith was transported to Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center in Janesville where he was treated and released for minor injuries.

Poor road conditions were a major contributing factor in the crash, which remains under investigation at this time. No citations were issued and no charges are anticipated in this incident. W. STH 11 was closed between W. CTH B and N. Roherty Road for nearly five hours while Troopers and Inspectors from the Wisconsin State Patrol reconstructed the crash. No further press releases are expected.


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