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5 people injured in Vernon County head-on crash

Mother and 4-year-old daughter suffered serious injuries

VERNON COUNTY, WI - Five people were injured in a two-vehicle head-on crash Thursday afternoon in the Town of Liberty.

The Vernon County Sheriff's Office says the crash happened at the intersection of State Highway 56 and County Highway SS at about 12:45 p.m.

Authorities say Jenny Jonquist, 28, of Richland Center, was turned left onto County Highway SS when he one-year-old son began to cry in the back seat. She said she turned her head momentarily to check on her son and did not see a car coming.

Jonquist's vehicle struck an eastbound vehicle driven by Rudolf Illich, 53, of Viola, head-on. Illich had tried to avoid the crash and swerved to the right. The sheriff's office says Illich's vehicle came to rest in the eastbound lane; Jonquist's vehicle spun and came to rest in the eastbound ditch, trapping Jonquist and her two children in the car.

The Viola firefighters extracted Jonquist and her children, ages 1 and 4, from the vehicle. They were transported to Vernon Memorial Hospital. Jonquist and her 4-year-old daughter were transferred to Gundersen Health System in La Crosse with serious injuries. Her one year-old son was treated and released to family members.

Authorities say Jonquist was wearing her seatbelt and both children were in child safety seats and seat belted in the back seat.

Illich and his wife Tracey were transported to Vernon Memorial Hospital and were treated and released.  They were also wearing their seatbelts.

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