3 die in crashes after rain washes away road in Clark County

Victims pronounced dead at scene
3 die in crashes after rain washes away road in Clark County

Authorities said three people died in crashes after heavy rain washed away a 50-foot stretch of highway in central Wisconsin.

SLIDESHOW: Clark County road washed out

Clark County Deputy Jim Backus said a motorist discovered two vehicles early Thursday in the large ravine in rural Willard, about 50 miles southeast of Eau Claire.

Authorities said a pickup truck carrying two people crashed into the crevasse. Another vehicle with one occupant then crashed into the same gorge. All three were pronounced dead at the scene.

“It was just a helpless feeling seeing the water and the road still collapsing. It was just a helpless feeling not being able to do anything,” Backus said. 

The victims were identified as 56-year-old Thomas Jurceka and 57-year-old Susan Jurceka, of Milwaukee; and 24-year-old Mary Malinowski, of Thorp.

The National Weather Service said the area got 1 to 3 inches of rain in the last day, and that the soil was saturated from heavy rains earlier this week.

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