NEILLSVILLE, Wis. (AP) -- Clark County's emergency management director says there was no sign of fatigue or deterioration of a county road that washed out, killing three motorists.
Michelle Hartness says a flash flood hit the area Wednesday night, causing a 50-foot wide section of road to collapse and wash away. Hartness says the culvert underneath the road showed no signs of erosion last week when a highway mowing crew was there.
The county is mandated to inspect bridges every two years, but not culverts. The culvert and section of County Road M that washed away is expected to be repaired within two to four weeks.
A Milwaukee couple and a Thorp woman died when their trucks fell 12 to 15 feet into the ravine and became partially submerged.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
CLARK COUNTY, Wis. (WEAU) -- Heavy rains in a local community washed away a section of road sometime Wednesday night, creating a large ravine.
A local woman and a couple from Milwaukee were killed when they unknowingly drove into it.
Investigators are now trying to piece together the puzzle of the deadly events.
The incidences happened on County Road M northeast of Fairchild in Clark County.
The Clark County Sheriff’s Department said 56-year-old Thomas Jurceka and 57-year-old Susan Jurceka of Milwaukee were driving north in a Ford Ranger when they slammed into the gap in the road.
Sometime later Deputies said 24-year-old Mary Malinowski of Thorp was heading north in a Chevrolet Suburban when she met the same fate, crashing into the washout.
The gap in the road was measured at 13 feet deep and 50 feet wide.
The section of road the washed away covered a large culvert drain.
Deputies said it wasn’t until 1:05 a.m. that a driver safely stopped before reaching the ravine and called 911.
“I was actually the first one to arrive on the scene. It was so difficult to see and very tragic situation,” said Clark County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Jim Backus.
Backus said the victims were pronounced dead at the scene.
“The initial investigation right now is indicating that is was the impact; that they died of traumatic injuries,” Backus said.
Clark County Emergency Management said the area got more than two inches of rain Wednesday night.
And while this was the only road to wash out in the county, Emergency Management Director Michelle Hertness said the section of County Road M over a large culvert drain doesn’t have a history of flooding problems.
“This is not one of our high impact areas and what is really strange is our high impact areas didn't have any water on them last night. So this was a unique situation,” Hertness said.
Investigators are trying to put together a timeline of all of the tragic events.
“Track down where they were, where they came from and narrow down a time of when this may have occurred,” Backus said.
The Clark County Highway Department said it’s working on a plan to repair the road.
It said it’s not yet known when it will reopen.
(WEAU) – The Clark County Sheriff’s Department has released the names of the three people who died in a crash where a road washed out.
The department says Thomas Jurceka, 56, and Susan Jurceka, 57, both of Milwaukee, crashed into the washout. It says Mary Malinowski, 24, from Thorp crashed in the same area.
It says that the SUV driven by Malinowski landed directly on top of the truck driven by Jurceka.
The department says it is still unknown what caused the roadway to wash out, but it was reported that three inches of rain fell in a short period of time overnight.
Clark County, Wis. (WEAU)-Three people are dead after a two vehicle crash where a road washed out because of heavy rains.
The Clark County Sheriff’s Department says around 1:35 Thursday morning, it got a call that two vehicles were found in the washout on County Road M, about a mile and a half north of County Road I. That’s east of Augusta.
Deputies say a northbound truck with two people inside, crashed into the washout. The second vehicle, with just the driver inside, crashed in the same area. All three were pronounced dead at the scene.
Deputies say they are still investigating. Names are being withheld pending notification of family. No other information is available at this time.
These are the first traffic fatalities in Clark County for 2012.