On Thursday, Sept. 14, at about 2:20 a.m., the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department was notified of a one-vehicle traffic crash on East Third Street at Talbot Street, in the village of Wauzeka.
According to the Crawford County Sheriff's Office, a semi operated by Luke C. Kilmer, 21, of Stoddard, struck a low-hanging line from an overhead power pole. Kilmer and his passenger Jeremy J. Hershey, 40, of La Crosse, were eastbound on East Third Street when the trailer on the semi got hooked on a low-hanging phone cable. The cable hooked onto the trailer as they were driving, causing the light pole to fall on top of the semi. Live power lines were then laying near the top of the semi and trailer. The semi was leaving from a delivery at the Wauzeka Steuben School.
The low phone cable was due to recent storms which caused trees to fall on the line. The trees were removed but the line was hanging lower than previously. The semi, which normally had no issues passing through previously was not able to without snagging the cable. Both driver and passenger exited the vehicle prior to arrival of first responders.
Hershey and Kilmer were not injured in the crash. It is strongly recommended not to exit a vehicle near/around down power lines.
The Wauzeka Fire Department, Wauzeka First Responders, Alliant Energy, M G and E Gas Company, village of Wauzeka, Wauzeka Steuben School and Century Link assisted at the scene.