Hwy. 35 crash Saturday marks first Vernon County traffic death in 2022

STODDARD, Wis. (WKBT) — A motorcyclist was killed in a crash on Hwy. 35 between Stoddard and Genoa Saturday morning, according to the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office.

Zachiah Gjerseth was driving a vehicle traveling south on Hwy. 35 when he tried to make a left turn into a private driveway, according to the sheriff’s office.

Gjerseth did not see James Pedretti Jr.’s motorcycle. Pedretti’s motorcycle collided with the Gjerseth vehicle, and Pedretti was ejected from the cycle. The Vernon County Coroners Office pronounced Pedretti dead at the scene.

Passenger-side airbags deployed in Gjerseth’s vehicle, and he was wearing his seatbelt. The Vernon County Sheriff’s Office said Pedretti was wearing eye protection on his motorcycle but was not wearing a helmet.

This crash marks Vernon County’s first traffic fatality for 2022. With summer approaching and the weather warming up, Sheriff John Spears reminded motorists to pay extra attention to motorcycles and bicycles traveling on roadways.