Work zone road rage in Kimberly

By Kris Schuller |

Published 07/10 2014 08:35PM

Updated 07/11 2014 08:31AM

KIMBERLY, Wis., (WFRV) A Kimberly woman faces some hefty fines after hitting an Outagamie County highway employee with her car. Police say the woman hit the worker, after deliberately ignoring instructions, entering a section of road under construction.

Wednesday morning near East Kennedy Avenue and Washington Street in Kimberly, Outagamie County road crews were busy laying asphalt.

"There were signs announcing this was an active work zone," said Outagamie County Road Commissioner Al Guerts.

However, there were also two employees with flags - directing traffic around the construction.

And one motorist, 57-year old Patricia Carlson of Kimberly, did not want to take their directions.

"She passed the first worker and he alerted the second worker who stopped the car, stood in front of the car and told her you can't go through here," said Fox Valley Metro Police Chief Erik Misselt.

Police say Carlson grew angry.

"The driver has a verbal exchange with the worker," said Misselt.

And then the unthinkable.

"Decided she was going to go that way regardless of what direction she was given and proceeds to pull forward and bump into - strike the road worker," the chief said.

The worker stepped out of the way. Carlson drove over freshly laid asphalt and fled the scene. Workers got a partial plate and Fox Valley Police quickly tracked her down.

Outagamie County Road Commissioner Al Guerts says the incident is a first for him.

"I've never seen a motorist deliberately try to run an employee out of the way after being directed to stop," Guerts said.

 The employee suffered bruises to her legs and returned to work Thursday.

 "No one should have to go to work fearing for their safety," said Tom Nelson, Outagamie County Executive.

 And an angry Nelson said Carlson's decision carries consequences, citations with fines nearing $1,200.

 "We have to use everything in our resources to throw the book at this person," Nelson said.

 While Al Guerts prays something like this never happens again.

 "Be respectful of those flag people, they are trying to protect themselves and the motorists - trying to travel through," Guerts said.

 Road crews repaired the damaged asphalt.  Carlson faces three traffic citations - including hit and run.

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