Two-Vehicle Accident Update
Posted on 05/22/2023

Date: May 22, 2023
Case: 23-18725 – Two-Vehicle Accident  Update
Authority: Sgt. Chad Beres

On Saturday, May 20, 2023, at approximately 12:21pm, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office received several reports of a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of Hwy 144 and Cty Tk H in the Town of Farmington. The first caller advised the crash involved a tractor-trailer livestock hauler which struck a small sport utility vehicle. Fire & Rescue from Kewaskum and Boltonville were immediately dispatched to the scene along with sheriff’s deputies.

The first deputy arrived within three minutes of the 911 call and quickly determined there were four critically injured subjects from the SUV and two occupants in the tractor trailer. The deputy requested West Bend Intercept to the scene and Flight for Life be put on stand-by. The second deputy arrived one minute after the first deputy and was advised by citizen there were two subjects from the SUV who were pulseless and non-breathing. Both deputies, a first responder and a citizen, performed CPR on the two most critical patients and utilized AEDs from the deputies’ squad cars. Life-saving efforts continued by first responders and rescue personnel on the two patients without success. The two rear passengers in the SUV died on scene.

Meanwhile, the driver of the SUV was helped out of the vehicle by citizens who stopped. The front seat passenger was still in the vehicle and rescuers were holding cervical spine immobilization as a precaution until extrication could be performed. The driver of the SUV was later transported via ambulance to Froedtert West Bend. The front passenger was transported via Flight for Life to Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee. All occupants of the SUV were from Marathon County, WI. The driver and passenger of the tractor-trailer were not injured and were cooperative during the investigation.

The preliminary investigation, supported by witness statements, revealed the tractor-trailer was traveling northbound on Hwy 144 and was loaded with cattle. The SUV was eastbound on Cty Tk H and had stopped at the stop sign at the intersection. When the tractor-trailer had almost reached the intersection, the SUV abruptly pulled out in front of the tractor-trailer. The SUV was struck on the passenger side of the vehicle by the tractor trailer despite the semi driver’s attempt to avoid the collision. The SUV ended up in the northeast corner of the intersection down the embankment in the ditch line. The tractor-trailer went off the road and overturned in the east ditch line. Several cattle were ejected when the tractor-trailer overturned, but they were quickly corralled by citizens who stopped to help. Two cattle died due to the accident and one additional head of cattle was euthanized by a local veterinarian on scene due to serious injury.

Alcohol and speed do not appear to be factors in the accident. The use of safety equipment is still under investigation.

Traffic on Hwy 144 and Cty Tk H was diverted around the scene with the assistance with West Bend Police Department, Kewaskum Police Department, and the State Patrol. The Washington County Medical Examiner’s Office also assisted at the scene. The Sheriff’s Office Accident Reconstruction Unit was called to the scene to complete a technical evaluation of the crash.

Eastbound and westbound traffic on Cty Tk H was closed until approximately 4:48pm. Northbound and southbound traffic on Hwy 144 was closed until approximately 5:47pm.

Although our office may not know everyone’s identity, the sheriff’s office would like to thank the kind citizens that stopped to help in this tragic accident. We would also like to thank all our public safety partners that assisted with life-saving efforts and traffic management.

Driver and passenger information is as follows:

Tractor-Trailer Driver – 19-year-old male from the Town of Farmington
Tractor-Trailer Passenger – 17-year-old male from the Town of Farmington

SUV Driver – 18-year-old female from Wausau, WI
SUV Front Passenger – 17-year-old female from Wausau, WI
SUV Rear Passenger – 18-year-old female from Weston, WI (deceased)
SUV Rear Passenger – 16-year-old male from Schofield, WI (deceased)

Names are not being released at this time out of respect for the families involved. This accident constitutes the 6th and 7th traffic fatality in Washington County this year. At this time no further information is being released as the investigation is on-going.