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UPDATE: Both drivers in serious Friday crash expected to survive

By Brandi Makuski

Two people were seriously injured in a Plover collision on Friday morning.

A news release from Wisconsin State Patrol said the collision occurred at Hwy. 54 and Birch Dr. in Plover at about 5:45 a.m. on Jan. 5.

The crash occurred when a sport utility vehicle driven by a 29-year-old man from Almond was traveling westbound on Hwy. 54 when it crossed the centerline and struck an eastbound pick-up truck driven by a 22-year-old male from Bancroft.

Sheriff Mike Lukas said both drivers were trapped and needed to be extricated by rescue crews. Each was the lone occupant in their respective vehicles.

The Almond man was seriously injured and was transported by MedEvac medical helicopter to Aspirus Hospital in Wausau. The Bancroft man was also seriously injured and was transported by Portage County Ambulance to Aspirus Hospital in Wausau.

Lukas, who was among the first on the scene, said it appeared that the engine block of one vehicle had been ejected from the car and caught on fire. He and other bystanders were able to “stomp out the fire before it reached the car,” he said.

Barricades were in place to reroute motorists for several hours, Lukas said. The roadway reopened at about 10:30 a.m.

The crash remains under investigation by the Portage County Sheriff’s Office. Also responding to the scene were the Plover Police Dept., Portage County Ambulance Service, Plover Fire Department, Plover
Rescue, Plover Emergency Medical Responders, Portage County Traffic Incident Management Team (TIMS), the Wisconsin State Patrol-Technical Crash Unit, Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources, Adam’s Towing, and the Portage County Highway Department.