Local teen dies in crash

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A two-vehicle crash took the lives of a rural Eastman teen and a Tomah man Sunday afternoon, May 24, in the town of Eastman, according to the Crawford County Sheriff's Department.

Bridget Achenbach, 19, was traveling south on Highway 27 near Messler Lane about 2 p.m. when her Chevrolet Cruze hydroplaned on wet pavement and spun across the centerline into the northbound lane. Her vehicle collided with a Chevrolet Impala, driven by Kenneth Eppers, 85, Tomah. Achenbach was pronounced dead at the scene.

The man and his wife, Genevieve Eppers, also 85, were extricated from their car with the Jaws of Life and taken to Crossing Rivers Health in Prairie du Chien, where Kenneth died from his injuries. Genevieve was later transported by ambulance to a La Crosse hospital, where she remained in critical condition Monday afternoon. An update on her condition was not available Tuesday.

According to Sheriff Dale McCullick, all three individuals were wearing their seat belts at the time of the accident. Also, the air bag in the Eppers vehicle was deployed. The air bag in Achenbach’s vehicle was not, though her car was hit from the rear.

Highway 27 was closed for more than three hours as the Wisconsin State Patrol reconstructed the crash.

Assisting at the scene were the Eastman First Responders and Fire Department, Seneca Fire Department, Bridgeport Fire Department, Tri-State Regional Ambulance, and Bob’s Towing. The Crawford County Highway Department assisted with closing the highway and directing traffic.

Achenbach was a 2014 Prairie du Chien High School graduate and had just completed her freshman year at UW-La Crosse. She was named Crawford County Fair Ambassador Jan. 30.

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