2 D.C. Everest teens killed in crash in Washington County

Emily Lewerenz and Danny Johnson
Emily Lewerenz and Danny Johnson(Emily's photo courtesy Josie Lana Photography. Danny's photo courtesy: Middle Grounds Coffee shop)
Published: May. 21, 2023 at 11:24 PM CDT
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WEST BEND, Wis. (WSAW) - The Washington County Sheriff’s Office has released more details about a fatal crash that killed two students from D.C. Everest High School.

According to an email sent to parents from the school district, senior Emily Lewerenz and junior Danny Johnson died in the crash.

The school district sent out a letter, in part it reads, “We are deeply saddened by the loss of these young individuals who touch the lives of so many in our community and will be dearly missed.”

The crash happened around 12:30 p.m. Saturday northeast of West Bend in the town of Farmington.

The crash happened at the intersection of Hwy 144 and County Tk H.

The crash involved a tractor-trailer livestock hauler which struck a small sport utility vehicle.

Lifesaving efforts were performed at the scene. Johnson and Lewerenz were in the back seat of the SUV and died from their injuries. A 17-year-old from Wausau and an 18-year-old from Wausau were in the front seats of the vehicle. The driver of the SUV was later transported by ambulance to Froedtert West Bend.

The driver and passenger of the tractor-trailer were not injured and were cooperative during the investigation.

The preliminary investigation, supported by witness statements, revealed the tractor-trailer was traveling northbound on Hwy 144 and was loaded with cattle. The SUV was eastbound on Cty Tk H and had stopped at the stop sign at the intersection. When the tractor-trailer had almost reached the intersection, the SUV abruptly pulled out in front of the tractor-trailer. The SUV was struck on the passenger side of the vehicle by the tractor trailer despite the semi driver’s attempt to avoid the collision. The SUV ended up in the northeast corner of the intersection down the embankment in the ditch line. The tractor-trailer went off the road and overturned in the east ditch line. Several cattle were ejected when the tractor-trailer overturned, but they were quickly corralled by citizens who stopped to help.

Two cattle died due to the accident and one additional head of cattle was euthanized by a local veterinarian on scene due to serious injury.

Alcohol and speed do not appear to be factors in the accident.

The school plans to have a formal announcement on Monday morning to make sure all students are made aware. The district is providing additional counseling resources.

If you feel your child needs more support you can call the Marathon County United Way 211 service.