A two-vehicle crash in Kickapoo township resulted in Vernon County’s second traffic death of the year early April 12.
The Vernon County Sheriff’s Office in Viroqua said that Preston Nelson, 19, of Soldiers Grove died after a collision with another pickup at approximately 1:20 a.m.
Both vehicles were eastbound on Hwy. 14 west of Readstown when Nelson lost control of his truck, which crossed the center line.
After the trucks collided, Nelson’s vehicle went into the left ditch and rolled multiple times, coming to rest on its roof.
Nelson was ejected from the vehicle. According to the Vernon County Broadcaster of Viroqua, his body was found 50 feet from the pickup near the edge of a field.
The three passengers in Nelson’s vehicle were Steven Young, 18, rural Chaseburg; Taylor VanVoorhis, 19, La Crosse; and Jacob Kent, 18, Nekoosa.
Young had to be extricated from the truck using the Jaws of Life and was flown by Med Link Air to Gundersen Health System in La Crosse with serious injuries. VanVoorhis was transported by Tri-State Ambulance to Vernon Memorial Healthcare in Viroqua with serious injuries. He was later taken to Gundersen Health System in La Crosse. Kent was taken by private vehicle to Vernon Memorial Healthcare in Viroqua with non-life-threatening injuries where he was treated and released.
None of the three were wearing seatbelts.
Both Young and VanVoorhis were listed in fair condition by Gundersen Health System April 13, according to the Broadcaster.
The second vehicle was operated by Dalton Mikkelson, 17, of rural Viroqua. In his vehicle were Levin LeMere, 18, and Evin Engen, 19, both of of rural Viroqua.
Mikkelson’s vehicle sustained minor damage, and none of the passengers in his vehicle were injured.
Assisting at the scene were the Viroqua Police Department, Wisconsin State Patrol, Readstown Fire Department, Readstown Ambulance, Viola Fire Department, Kickapoo Valley Rescue Squad and Viroqua Fire Department.
The crash remains under investigation by the Sheriff’s Office, the Vernon County Coroner’s Office and the State Patrol.