Two motorcyclists, dog injured in Vernon County crash

A motorcyclist was seriously injured when a van hit him on State Highway 80 in Vernon County. The driver of the van sustained non-life-threatening injuries during the incident Friday morning.

According to the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office, Samantha M. Baly, 31, of rural Wonewoc, was driving southbound on State Highway 80 south of County Road EE in the town of Greenwood shortly before 11:30 a.m.

Baly attempted to turn into a private driveway and did not see two motorcycles traveling in the opposite direction. Baly turned into the path of motorcyclist Stephen R. Cournia, 78, of rural Richland Center.

Cournia was towing a small motorcycle trailer with a dog inside. When the two vehicles collided, the motorcycle trailer broke off and struck another motorcycle.

The second motorcyclist, Bruce W. Gander, 60, of rural Lone Rock, lost control of his vehicle and slid down the road.

Cournia was transported from the scene with serious injuries to Gundersen St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hillsboro and later flown to Gundersen Health System in La Crosse. His dog was taken by private vehicle to the Madison Animal Hospital with serious injuries.

Gander sustained non-life-threatening injuries. He was treated and released from Gundersen St. Joseph’s Hospital.

Baly had five kids in her vehicle, but they were not injured during the incident.

Gundersen Air, Hillsboro Ambulance Service, the Hillsboro Fire Department and the Richland County Sheriff’s Department also responded to the incident.

The crash remains under investigation by the Vernon County Sheriff’s office.

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