Mayor says Swift Creek guardrail should be considered

2 deaths in 3 years on stretch of Norplex Drive

The body of 22-year-old Justin McElwain was recovered at the bottom of La Crosse’s Swift Creek on Monday after a five day search, and now city officials say changes might be on the way for the scene of the crash.

McElwain’s car left the road and traveled down an embankment in the area of Norplex Drive and Jackson Street. It’s the second fatal crash on that stretch of road in the past few years.

A Winona State student was killed in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day in 2014 when her car also crashed into the water on Norplex Drive.

La Crosse Mayor Tim Kabat says the city will consider adding a guard rail to that stretch of road in hopes of preventing future crashes into the water.

“It is one of those challenging things we’re going to have to look at, because we know that there was the vehicle from New Year’s Eve a couple years ago,” said Mayor Kabat. “That’s what we’ll have to take a look at, is if there can some sort of a barrier or barricade in that entire stretch.”

An autopsy for McElwain is scheduled for Wednesday.

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