Two-Semi Accident Causes Road Blockage in Vernon, Wisconsin Construction Zone

VERNON, WI – On Thursday, Aug. 17, at 11:02 a.m., Vernon County 9-1-1 Dispatch Center was alarmed to a semi accident at the roundabout construction zone at U.S. Hwy. 14/61 and State Hwy. 27.

A straight truck propane tanker owned by Suburban Propane was traveling north on State Hwy. 27. Robert D. Whitacre Jr., 68, of Holmen, the driver, failed to notice the posted stop sign at the intersection, mistakenly assuming he was entering into a roundabout to travel north. Curtis A. Stakston, 64, of Westby, driving a second semi owned by Cashton Farm Supply and heading eastbound on U.S. Hwy. 14/61, tried but couldn’t avoid the collision.

Consequences and Response

The crash resulted in full road blockage, prompting immediate action by emergency services. Teams from the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office, Viroqua Fire Department, Viroqua First Responders, Vernon County Emergency Management, Vernon County Highway Department, and Tri-State Ambulance Service all converged on the scene.

Emergency crews worked quickly to open one lane of traffic to maintain traffic flow. One lane of U.S. Hwy. 14/61 remained closed for approximately two hours while the debris was cleared and the trucks removed. Thankfully, neither driver was injured, and there was no spillage of either load.

Ken’s Towing of La Crosse and LaFarge Truck Center handled the towing of both trucks.

Safety Reminder

Sheriff Roy Torgerson used the occasion to remind motorists to exercise caution and reduce speed when traveling through road construction zones. Electronic device usage is prohibited in these areas, and traffic fines double.


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