9 dead after crash in central Wisconsin, loved ones remember victims

9 dead after crash in central Wisconsin, loved ones remember victims

9 dead after crash in central Wisconsin, loved ones remember victims

Authorities say nine people are dead after a crash in Wisconsin that has closed part of a state highway in both directions.

According to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, the crash happened Friday morning on State Highway 95 in the area of County Highway J in the Township of Dewhurst, located about 50 miles southeast of Eau Claire.

The sheriff’s office says early information suggests that a semi was headed east on State Highway 95 while a van was northbound on County Highway J. As the van entered the intersection to continue north, the semi hit it.

The driver of the semi and eight people inside the van died, the sheriff’s office said. One passenger in the van was taken to a hospital in Marshville, Wisconsin, for their injuries.

Law enforcement officials tell 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that none of the victims are from the area and were just passing through.

In an interview with TMJ4 in Milwaukee, the ex-wife of the driver of the van, Lavada Stout, confirmed the driver of the van as James McCoy. Stout stated that McCoy was driving a van of people in the Amish community at the time of the crash.

“He was fun to be around, I mean, I could trust that man with my life. Even though we [were] divorced and everything… I still had confidence in him, we’d still go places and stuff like that, I mean, he was my best friend… somebody I could confide in,” Stout said to TMJ4.

A friend of the Amish family, Allen Gross, told TMJ4 the survivor is a two-year-old boy.

“We’re actually on our way to Wisconsin to pick up their 2-year-old grandson who was the only survivor and, surprisingly, he was not harmed. There was no burns. He’s missing his mom, which is… you can imagine just how hard that’s going to be…”

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the families of the crash victims.

9 dead after crash in central Wisconsin

9 dead after crash in central Wisconsin

Wisconsin Highway 95 was shut down for several hours but was back open as of 8:30 p.m. Friday.

The sheriff’s office is also working with the Wisconsin State Patrol in its investigation.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers extended his condolences to the victims, saying on X, “Our hearts and prayers go out to the families and loved ones of all those involved, as well as th first responders who worked quickly to provide support at the scene.”