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DOT: Eight people killed in crashes over Thanksgiving week

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Thanksgiving Week was twice as deadly as a year ago on Wisconsin highways.

The DOT said eight people died in six crashes between November 24th and last Saturday.

The deadliest crash was near Janesville in Rock County, where three family members were killed in a two-vehicle collision.  

The increase comes in spite of an overall drop in Wisconsin traffic deaths for the year as a whole. The DOT said 495 people were killed in crashes in the Badger State in the first 11 months of the year. That's down 14 percent from the 574 traffic deaths in January through November of 2012.  

In the Madison area, Dane County sheriff's officials report a slight uptick in fatalities from 32 to 34.

Sheriff's sergeant Michelle Shelhamer tells WISC-TV that higher volumes of traffic are to blame -- as well as a drop in government grants. The TV station said tens of thousands of grant dollars were suspended earlier this year that would have been used to help enforce seat belt, speeding, and reckless driving laws on Madison's Beltline expressway.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)