MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Thanksgiving is Thursday, and on Tuesday, November 26th, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke announced the launch of his annual freeway initiative. However, this year is different. The Sheriff's Office is taking a new approach to remind people to drive safely, and not get behind the wheel intoxicated -- and that approach involves a recent scary crash that occurred on Highway 41 in October.
Nearly 784,000 people in Wisconsin will hit the road for Thanksgiving -- and Sheriff Clarke is reminding folks to first and foremost, drive safely. Sheriff Clarke cited the numerous crashes on Monday after light snow fell during the morning rush hour.
"Deputies responded to about 50 crashes or spinouts in the morning commute in the city -- most driving too fast," Sheriff Clarke said.
Sheriff Clarke is urging drivers to slow down, remain defensive behind the wheel and also...
"We will aggressively hunt down drunk or impaired drivers," Sheriff Clarke said.
In October, 40-year-old Kevin Hutchins, who is accused of being Milwaukee County's 1,000th repeat OWI offender crashed into barrels on Highway 41, injuring two deputies.
The crash was the end of a pursuit that hit speeds of over 100 miles-per-hour.
"His world was turned upside down, but it was turned upside down by him," Sheriff Clarke said Tuesday.
On Tuesday, the Sheriff's Office released new dashcam video of the crash. The dashcam video shows Hutchins in the backseat of a squad car, allegedly being uncooperative with paramedics who were trying to help him.
"I can't believe the guy lived, first of all," Chris Anderson said.
Anderson was there the night of the crash involving Hutchins. As a paramedic for 13 years, Anderson says he has seen his share of unruly patients.
"We just have to remember and what we tell our employees is they're not in the right frame of mind. It's nothing personal," Anderson said.
Anderson says he is giving praise to those who kept their cool and did what they were supposed to do.
"As difficult as that may be, they did their jobs. It's a good thing that the people who were there, first responders weren't injured as well," Anderson said.
"Until it happens, you really don't think it's going to happen to you. It's important to see, I think, real-life situations of what happens to you when you end up in this situation here when you're impaired, drunk driving," Sheriff Clarke said.
Operation Safe Drive runs Wednesday, November 27th through New Year's Day.