Highway 81 open after Janesville man dies in fatal accident

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Janesville man was killed in a traffic accident at 2:11 p.m. Wednesday near Kauffman's Country Store, 9550 W. Highway 81, between County H and Olson Road.

Willard Trewyn, 75, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Rock County Sheriff's Office.

Both lanes of traffic on Highway 81 west of Beloit remained closed until 10 p.m. Wednesday to investigate the crash and to remove the two vehicles involved.

According to the sheriff's office:

A 2006 Pontiac G6 driven by Barbara McConnell, 71, of Beloit was stopped in eastbound traffic waiting to turn north into a driveway. Trewyn, driving a semi-trailer truck, also was eastbound. He attempted to avoid the Pontiac by swerving, but he clipped the Pontiac's right rear end, lost control, and rolled over before coming to a rest in the south ditch.

Trewyn “braked hard” and the liquid fertilizer being transported caused the truck to roll over, said Lou Smit, Rock County coroner.

Trewyn was trapped inside the semi-trailer truck and died from his injuries.

McConnell and her two passengers, Doris McConnell, 71, and Eileen Finnegan, 84, both of Beloit, were not injured.

The semi came to a stop in the south ditch on the north side of Highway 81 and spilled between 200 and 300 gallons of fertilizer, according to the news release.

The Rock County 911 center tweeted Wednesday afternoon that, according to the sheriff's office, there was no hazardous material at the accident scene, and “no danger to the public.”

Trucks carrying toxic substances carry a placard that lets first-responders know what is being carried, but responders could not locate the placard, said Capt. Jude Maurer of the sheriff's office.

The truck belongs to the DeLong Company of Clinton. A company representative went to the scene to help identify the substance, Maurer said.

The Department of Natural Resources and Department of Agriculture were notified of the spill.

Those at the scene were told to stand back at least 350 feet because of the spill, said Arthur Kauffman of Kauffman's Country Store.

Drivers are asked to take the detour from County H to County K.

The town of Beloit Police Department, Beloit and Orfordville fire departments, Wisconsin State Patrol and Rock County Emergency Management Director assisted at the scene.

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