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Four hurt in two five-car crashes on 80/81
Ten cars suffered from minor to severe damage in two sets of collisions in whiteout conditions on Wisconsin 80/81 Friday morning. - photo by Grant County Sheriffs Department

Four people were injured after two five-car crashes within moments of each other on Wisconsin 80/81 south of Platteville Friday morning.

The crashes are being blamed on what the Grant County Sheriff’s Department calls “severe cross winds and snow” that created whiteout conditions and a slippery road.

The first series of crashes around 8:20 a.m. began when Benjamin Kahle, 28, Platteville, was driving south on 80/81 just south of Blockhouse Road and slowed for a vehicle.

Kahle’s car was rear-ended by a vehicle driven by Kevin Kisting, 48, Cuba City, according to the sheriff’s department. The collision pushed Kahle’s vehicle into a car driven by Gail Bertling, 48, Cuba City, who was going north on 80/81. A car driven by Nancy Merwin, 48, Livingston, going north on 80/81 then hit Kisting’s vehicle.

Two people from the first crash were taken to Southwest Health Center for injuries.

Shortly after that, an SUV driven by Kathleen Woolford, 49, Platteville, was stopped in the southbound lane of 80/81 because of the first crashes, when Woolford’s SUV was rear-ended by a Jeep driven by Ashley Withrow, 27, Platteville, going southbound. A car driven by Thomas Michel, 24, Platteville, then struck Withrow’s Jeep from behind, according to the sheriff’s department.

Timothy Sampson, 40, Cuba City, avoided the crash by driving onto the shoulder, but when he tried to get back onto the southbound lane, his car was hit by a car driven by Naomi Welke, 22, Platteville, also going south. Welke’s car then hit Michel’s car, according to the sheriff’s department.

One person required extrication from a vehicle, and two more people went to Southwest Health Center for injuries.

The Platteville Fire Department and EMS, Cuba City EMS and Wisconsin State Patrol assisted at the scene, along with three towing companies.