Several people were injured in a three-vehicle crash at the intersection of State Highway 27 and Saugstad Road on Thursday morning.
The Vernon County Sheriff’s Department said the crash happened after Justin Zierfus, 18, of rural Westby, failed to yield the right of way and pulled from the stop sign at Saugstad Road to cross State Highway 27.
Authorities say the vehicle pulled into the path of a loaded quad-axle milk truck driven by Norman Hemmersbach, 55, of Westby, that was going southbound on Highway 27. The truck hit Zierfus’ vehicle on the front passenger side. Authorities say Zierfus’ vehicle then spun and the rear passenger side slammed into the milk truck’s rear wheels.
The milk truck rolled over and came to a rest in a ditch. Zierfus’ vehicle then went into the path of a northbound vehicle driven by David Lorenz, 45, of Chippewa Falls. Lorenz’s vehicle hit Zierfus’ vehicle head-on and ended up in the northbound lane. Zierfus’s vehicle ended up in the ditch.
Robert Sutton, 36, of Chippewa Falls, was a passenger in Lorenz’s vehicle. He was airlifted to Gundersen Health System in La Crosse for head and back injuries. He was not wearing his seatbelt.
Lorenz and Zierfus were transported to the Vernon County Memorial Hospital. Lorenz hurt his foot. Zierfus injured his knee and arms. Hammersbach, the truck driver, was taken to Gundersen Health System in a private vehicle for medical care.