The crash occurred when Justin D. Zierfus, 18, of rural Westby failed to yield the right of way and pulled from the stop sign at Saugstad Road to cross State Highway 27. Norman L. Hemmersbach, 55, of Westby, WI was operating a loaded quad-axle milk truck southbound on State Highway 27. Zierfus pulled into the milk truck’s path. The milk truck impacted Zierfus’ vehicle on the front passenger side. Zierfus’s vehicle spun and the rear passenger side slammed into the milk trucks rear wheels. Zierfus’ vehicle was then thrown into the path of a northbound vehicle operated by David P. Lorenz, age 45, of Chippawa Falls, WI. Lorenz’ vehicle was also carrying Sampson J. Fleming, age 20 and Robert P. Sutton, age 36 both of Chippawa Falls, WI. Lorenz’ vehicle hit and Zierfus’ vehicle head on. Zierfus’ vehicle spun out of control and came to rest in the northbound lane on State Highway 27. Hemmersbach’s milk truck rolled over after the initial impact and came to rest in the ditch.
Sutton was airlifted to Gunderson Health Systems for head and back injuries. Lorenz and Zierfus were transported to Vernon Memorial Hospital. Lorenz sustained a substantial foot injury. Zierfus sustained minor injuries to the knee and arms. Hemmersbach was taken Gunderson Heath System by private vehicle to be checked out. All vehicles had to be removed by tow services as a result of the damages. Zierfus, Hemmersbach, Lorenz, Fleming were wearing their seat belts. Robert Sutton was not wearing his seat belt at the time of the crash.
Assisting at the scene were the Westby Fire Department, Westby First Responders, Westby Police Department, Westby Street Department, Wisconsin State Patrol, Wisconsin DNR, Vernon County Highway Department, Tri-State Ambulance and Med-Link Air
The accident remains under investigation by the Vernon County Sheriff’s Department.
Category: Local News