UPDATE: 47-year-old South Dakota woman killed in State Highway 35 crash

STODDARD, Wis. – Vernon County Sheriff Roy Torgerson reports on Friday afternoon, December 8, at approximately 2:45 p.m., the Sheriff’s Office 9-1-1 Dispatch Center was notified of a two-vehicle crash, on State Highway 35, near Mohawk Valley Road, rural Stoddard, Wis., in the town of Bergen.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, Laurel Elizabeth Wicks, 47, of Cavour, SD, formerly of La Crosse, WI, was operating a 2005 Honda Pilot northbound on State Highway 35 and collided with the rear of a large dump truck operated by Bobby E. Bendel, 59, of La Crosse, Wis.. The dump truck was stopped on the highway signaling a left turn into a private driveway yielding to an oncoming, southbound vehicle.

The initial point of contact on the Wicks vehicle was the left front corner impacting the right
rear corner of the dump truck. The Wicks vehicle sustained severe damage on the entire left
side of the vehicle entrapping Wicks, the lone occupant, inside the vehicle. There were no signs
of life and Laurel Wicks was pronounced dead at the scene by Vernon County Coroner Betty

A portion of State Highway 35, including the intersection of Mohawk Valley Road, was closed
for about three hours.

Assisting the Sheriff’s Office at the scene were the Stoddard Bergen Fire Department and
Gundersen Tri-State Ambulance. Assisting with traffic control and the highway closure were
the Stoddard Bergen Fire Department, Town of Shelby Fire Department, and the Genoa Fire

Sheriff Torgerson said the Wisconsin State Patrol Technical Reconstruction Unit assisted at the scene and a Wisconsin State Patrol Motor Carrier Enforcement Inspector conducted a post-crash inspection of the commercial motor vehicle, a standard practice.

Sheriff Torgerson would like to thank all deputies, firefighters, Emergency Medical Responders,
paramedics, and 9-1-1 dispatchers for their high level of dedicated service to our community.
Sheriff Torgerson would also like to thank the La Crosse County Emergency Dispatch Center and
the La Crosse Police Department for their assistance.

The incident remains under investigation by the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office and the Vernon
County Coroner’s Office

Previous post – Saturday, December 8 – 4:10 p.m.

STODDARD, Wis. – Traffic was rerouted for several hours Friday night due to a car crash near the entrance to Goose Island just north of Stoddard. Emergency crews from Vernon and La Crosse counties responded just after 3:00 p.m. on Friday and the road remained closed until about 6:30 p.m.

The Vernon County Sheriff’s Office has not released much more than basic information and their social media stated “A formal press release will be made when it’s appropriate.” It appeared that a dump truck and an SUV were involved in the accident but that has not been confirmed and we will update this story when we receive more information.

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