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7/6/2011 12:18:00 PM
Illinois woman killed in Woodruff multi-vehicle collision
Crash just before noon involves three vehicles
An accident victim is assisted onto a stretcher at the accident scene Wednesday in Woodruff.  Heather Holmes photograph
An accident victim is assisted onto a stretcher at the accident scene Wednesday in Woodruff.

Heather Holmes photograph
Police and rescue workers gain control of the scene of Wednesday’s accident just south of the intersection of Hwys. 51 and 47 in Woodruff.Heather Holmes photograph.
Police and rescue workers gain control of the scene of Wednesday’s accident just south of the intersection of Hwys. 51 and 47 in Woodruff.

Heather Holmes photograph.

Laurel Carlson
Reporter/Photographer


Polly Ullrich of Chicago, Ill., was killed in a multi-vehicle collision on Hwy. 51 in the town of Woodruff just before noon Wednesday, July 6.

Because authorities were still on-scene at press time Wednesday, little official information has been made available about the accident, but authorities said today, Thursday, July 7, that a press release is to be made available later in the afternoon.

Woodruff police did confirm that Ullrich was the deceased earlier today.

The accident occurred at approximately 11:40 a.m. Wednesday when a blue GMC Suburban with Wisconsin license plates collided with a green Ford Escape with Illinois license plates and another vehicle.

Eyewitnesses reported seeing the Suburban traveling north on Hwy. 51 at a high rate of speed.

Woodruff police and fire departments responded to the scene, as did Minocqua first responders.

The Suburban came to a rest on its top on the east side of Hwy. 51, and both vehicles were extensively damaged.

The Escape came to rest on the west side of Hwy. 51, with more than half of its rear end mangled from the collision.

One eyewitness observed authorities covering the front end of the Escape with a large, black tarp, a female was still visible in the front driver's seat.

The same witness said at least two adults and three children were extracted from the Suburban.

After being extracted, an adult male was able to walk away from the wreck with assistance from emergency officials.

Debris could be seen scattered on the roadway near the intersection of Hwy. 51 and 2nd Street, and at least one concrete light pole had been destroyed.

The crash scene was cordoned off and officials directed traffic to detour around the segment of Hwy. 51 where the accident occurred through the day and into Wednesday evening.

The crash is under investigation by the Woodruff Police Department and the Wisconsin State Patrol.

The Lakeland Times will report more information here at www.lakelandtimes.com as it becomes available.

Laurel Carlson may be reached via email at lcarlson@lakelandtimes.com.

Related Stories:
• Report: Wife alleges seizure caused sudden acceleration
• Woodruff accident report: Wife states that husband suffered seizure ...
• Cause of last week's fatal collision still unknown



Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Article comment by: Nicole Hansen

To those that are passing judgment on the driver of the GMC Yukon: before you place blame and point fingers, you should have the whole story! If the police don't even know the cause of accident yet, how do you? Out of respect for all those involved, please wait to lay blame until the answers are known!

Posted: Monday, July 11, 2011
Article comment by: Dennis McGinnity

let's not be too quick to place blame, there may have been any number of reasons for the rate of speed: some have speculated a siezure, for example.
However, being a resident of the northwoods for over 20 yrs., I can attest to the fact that the speed limits on hwy 51 are not very often followed, nor are they well-enforced.


Posted: Sunday, July 10, 2011
Article comment by: Val Haggard

I realize that this was the holiday weekend
but it happens all the time. People just
don't want to slow down. When just
arriving in the town of Minocqua the posted speed limit is 25mph. I can't begin
to tell you the amount of drivers who just
pass me by doing upwards of 40mph!
There should be more police patrols
in Minocqua & Woodruff.
Last summer there was a fatal traffic
accident at the intersection of Hwy 51 & J, now at Hyw. 51 & Hwy 47.


Posted: Sunday, July 10, 2011
Article comment by: Debbie Wergin

Polly Ullrich traveled that road all of her life to enjoy the sanctuary of Rainbo Lodge with her beautiful family, both as a child and an adult. She was an infectious spirit of God's love and goodness. Polly was the most peaceful and gracious person that I have been blessed to have known. We all lost one of the true Angels of this earth. Many prayers to her loving husband, son, mother, family and friends!

Posted: Saturday, July 9, 2011
Article comment by: Patrick O'Connor

It has now been 3 days and still no update on this story....

Posted: Friday, July 8, 2011
Article comment by: LAURA DUNNE

MY HUSBAND, RORY AND I ARE SHOCKED AND DEEPLY SADDENED TO HEAR OF THE HORRIFIC ACCIDENT THAT TOOK THE LIFE OF POLLY ULLRICH. POLLY WAS A GIFT TO ALL WHO KNEW HER AND WE SEND OUR HEARTFELT SYMPATHY AND LOVE TO HER FAMILY.

Posted: Friday, July 8, 2011
Article comment by: Elizabeth Wallmo

A tragic loss for many people who were blessed to have met, been influenced, and known Polly. I remember her most for her contagious laugh, amazing smile, and diverse understanding. I always called Polly Aunt Polly. You are and always will be thought of and missed.

Posted: Thursday, July 7, 2011
Article comment by: michael brown

People think 51 is a speedway!! I'm sick of these drivers speeding through there like that. SLOW DOWN PEOPLE!!

Posted: Thursday, July 7, 2011
Article comment by: Sue Ackland

"The same witness said at least two adults and several minors were extracted from the Suburban.
After being extracted, an adult male was able to walk away from the wreck with assistance from emergency officials."
Unfortunately, the woman from the car they hit after 'traveling at a high rate of speed' was unable to walk away from the crash. An innocent victim of the folks that come here and use our highways as a racetrack.




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