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UPDATE: New details released in three car crash on US-53 in Altoona

By: Lindsay Alowairdi, Nikki Junewicz Email
By: Lindsay Alowairdi, Nikki Junewicz Email

ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU)-- A three car crash on US-53 South near Altoona made for a challenging commute home Thursday.

The Wisconsin State Patrol says it happened at around 3:30pm just north of the River Prairie Road exit, where the road buckled, causing two vehicles to stop in the right lane of traffic. Melissa Tietz of Eau Claire was behind the wheel of one of the vehicles, Corey Birdsill of Birchwood was driving the other.

Another vehicle, driven by Michele Wilson of Colfax, failed to stop behind those two vehicles.

Wilson told police that she was thinking about something else and didn't notice the vehicles were stopped until it was too late.

She was cited for inattentive driving.

Michele Wilson and her passenger Bradley Wilson were taken to the hospital, and were treated for non-life threatening injuries.
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Part of the highway 53 bypass remains closed after multiple crashes.

The Altoona Police Department says four vehicles were involved, including a semi. Officers say the road buckled at the River Prairie exit around 3:30 p.m. Thursday, causing the semi to rear-end a car. That caused a chain-reaction with another crash about a half-mile away. At least two people were taken to the hospital, but we aren't sure how badly they were hurt.

Altoona police say both southbound lanes of highway 53 should be open now, and one northbound lane is still closed. Officers are still asking drivers to avoid the area.
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ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU)-- Part of the Highway 53 Bypass is closed after multiple crashes near Altoona.

The Altoona Police Department says the crash involved four vehicles, including a semi.

Officers say the road buckled at the River Prairie exit around 3:30 Thursday afternoon, causing the semi to rear-end a car. That caused a chain-reaction and another crash about a half a mile away. At least two people were taken to the hospital with unknown injuries.

As of 4:40 Thursday afternoon, the southbound lanes of 53 from Melby Street to River Prairie were closed. The northbound lanes were also backed up, so officers were asking drivers to avoid the area.

Altoona Police say while they were responding to the crashes, a vehicle also caught fire on Highway 53 near 312 and LaSalle. Police say the vehicle fire was not related to those crashes, but are still investigating what caused it.
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ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU)--Crews are at the scene of multiples crashes on Highway 53 near the River Prairie exit.

Altoona Police say the 53 Bypass south at River Prairie is closed and the north bound lanes are backed up. They are asking drivers to avoid the area is possible.

Eau Claire Police also sent out a tweet just after 4 p.m. saying they are responding to a vehicle fire on Highway 53 southbound between Highway 312 and LaSalle Street.

We'll have the latest information on the crashes in our evening newscasts.


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