FARMINGTON, Wis. (WFRV) – Two Wisconsinites and three cows are dead after a severe crash at an intersection in eastern Wisconsin on Saturday afternoon.
According to a release from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, deputies received several reports of a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of Highway 144 and County Trunk Highway H in the small town of Farmington.
A caller advised the crash involved a tractor-trailer livestock hauler, which collided with a small sport utility vehicle. Fire & Rescue from Kewaskum and Boltonville were immediately sent to the scene along with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.
Authorities say the first deputy to arrive on the scene quickly determined there were four critically injured individuals from the SUV and two occupants in the tractor-trailer. The deputy requested West Bend Intercept and Flight for Life be put on standby.
The second deputy to arrive on the scene was advised by a witness that there was a young adult and a teenager from the SUV that did not display a pulse and were not breathing.
Both deputies, a first responder, and a citizen, performed CPR on the two individuals that were not breathing and utilized AEDs from the deputies’ squad cars. Life-saving efforts continued by first responders and rescue personnel on the two patients without success, and the two passengers, identified as an 18-year-old woman from Weston and a 16-year-old boy from Schofield, died at the scene.
Meanwhile, the driver of the SUV was helped out of the vehicle by a citizen that stopped to assist. Deputies say 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, identified as an 18-year-old woman from Wausau, was transported via ambulance to Froedtert West Bend, and the front passenger, identified as a 17-year-old girl from Wausau, was transported via Flight for Life to Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee.
The two occupants of the tractor-trailer, identified as a 19-year-old man and a 17-year-old boy, both from Farmington, were not injured and are cooperating with the investigation.
Deputies say preliminary investigations reveal that the tractor-trailer was driving northbound on Highway 144 and was loaded with cattle. The SUV was traveling eastbound on County Trunk Highway H and had stopped at a stop sign at the intersection.
When the tractor-trailer had almost reached the intersection, the SUV reportedly abruptly pulled out in front of the tractor-trailer. The SUV was nailed on the passenger side of the vehicle, despite attempts to avoid the collision.
The SUV ended up at the northeast corner of the intersection, down the embankment and into the ditch line while the tractor-trailer ended up off the road and overturned in the east ditch line.
Several cattle were reportedly ejected when the tractor-trailer overturned, but they were quickly corralled by citizens who stopped to help. As a result, two cattle died due to the accident, and one additional head of cattle was euthanized by a local veterinarian on the scene due to serious injury.
Deputies say that alcohol and speed do not appear to be factors in the fatal accident. The use of safety equipment is still under investigation at this time.
Traffic on Highway 144 and County Trunk Highway H was diverted around the scene while officials investigated the accident. The roads were closed for around six hours.
“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,” stated deputies. “We would also like to thank all our public safety partners that assisted with life-saving efforts and traffic management.”
Names are being withheld out of respect for the families involved. The accident marks the 6th and 7th traffic fatality in Washington County this year.
No additional details were provided, and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate the incident.