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During snow, wind, Racine deputy says driving slowly is key

During snow, wind, Racine deputy says driving slowly is key

While staying home is the best thing to do during a winter storm, if you do need to head out on the roads, law enforcement wants your help in keeping everyone safe.

While staying home is the best thing to do during a winter storm, if you do need to head out on the roads, law enforcement wants your help in keeping everyone safe.

FOX6 News rode along with Racine County Sheriff’s Deputy Nathan Schmaling Thursday night, Dec. 22, as a winter storm brought wind and blowing snow to southeastern Wisconsin, combined with bitterly cold temperatures.

“I could feel the wheels spinning at that stop sign back there,” said Schmaling.

No matter the road conditions, Schmaling was out Thursday night.

“We still got to patrol, and we got to make sure some people don’t have phones on them, and if they wreck on the side of the road, they have nobody to call,” said Schmaling. “It’s our job to drive around and make sure that people are safe.”

For more than an hour Thursday evening FOX6 News rode along with Schmaling as he patrolled I-94.

“I’m looking for cars, if they’re swerving or anything, just to see,” said Schmaling. “Then we can relay that to the Department of Highway, and let them know that, ‘Hey, this part is icy,’ or that kind of thing. Just work together to make sure the road is safe.”

During our ride, Schmaling wasn’t called to any crashes. He did respond to a crash involving three vehicles earlier in his shift. Nobody was injured.

“I understand accidents happen, but most of them can be prevented,” said Schmaling. “It’s just, do people really need to be on the road right now, is the real question.”

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FOX6 watched as many cars sped past him.

“He’s going, probably, the speed limit, but given the conditions, you probably shouldn’t be going that fast,” said Schmaling.

Schmaling said if you do need to be on the road, drive slowly and keep your distance, especially when Wisconsin weather can change quickly.

“I can only imagine when the wind picks up here, it’s going to be pretty much close to no visibility,” said Schmaling.

The Racine County Sheriff’s Office had extra deputies working Thursday night on overtime due to the storm.

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