Town chairman killed while clearing tree

A generic ambulance

A man killed while clearing storm debris in Marinette County was the town chairman of Porterfield.

According to a statement released by the county sheriff’s department, 67-year-old Eugene LaCombe was cutting a tree to remove it from a road with 23-year-old Keith Franks. They were in the southbound lane when they were struck by a 19-year-old from the Town of Porterfield.

LaCombe died at a local hospital but Franks is expected to survive.

LaCombe’s vehicle was parked in the northbound lane with its headlights and flashers on.

Sheriff’s officials say heavy rain, wind and the glare of headlights from LaCombe’s vehicle contributed to the driver not seeing the men. Alcohol isn’t believed to be involved.

It happened at about 1:40 a.m. Wednesday on Bagley Road near Highway 64.

The thunderstorms LaCombe was cleaning up from packed winds of more than 80 mph and also destroyed a church, barns and other buildings, and cut power to tens of thousands of people in northeastern Wisconsin.

In Waupaca County, state officials said Trinity Lutheran Church in New London was destroyed when the line of severe storms moved through the region overnight Tuesday. An aerial survey of the damage in Brown County shows significant damage to crops, barns, garages and one home appears to be destroyed.

We Energies is working to restore power to more than 50,000 customers.