UPDATE: Corn spill closes Highway 11 Wednesday morning

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Frank Schultz
Wednesday, December 6, 2017

ORFORDVILLE—A load of field corn dumped in a traffic crash blocked Highway 11 for more than three hours Wednesday morning.

A semitrailer truck overturned and spilled a full load of corn after it was involved in a three-vehicle crash near the intersection of Highway 11 and Coon Island Road just outside Orfordville.

Two people were transported for medical care with what were described as non-life-threatening injuries:

--Semitrailer truck driver Bradley D. Heisz, 53, of 6517 W. Valley Springs Road, Janesville. He was treated and released at Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center in Janesville.

--Toyota Corolla driver Jacquelynn S. Wehrle, 30, of W896 Taylor Trail, Brodhead. She was in surgery and probably would be admitted, a Mercy spokeswoman said at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The Corolla was headed west on Highway 11 when it crossed the centerline around 7:30 a.m. The eastbound truck tried to avoid a collision, said Sgt. Kimberly Litsheim of the sheriff's office, who was in charge of the accident scene.

Wehrle told investigators she fell asleep, sheriff's office Cmdr. Troy Knudson said.

Wehrle was cited for inattentive driving, according to a news release.

Heisz “attempted evasive movements to prevent a head-on collision with the Corolla,” the news release states. “The Corolla side-swiped the semi on the driver's side.”

The third vehicle, a Dodge Caravan driven by Kyra A. Givens, 27, of 1421 Canyon Drive, Janesville, was following the Corolla and veered into the north ditch to avoid the crash, according to the release.

The initial crash pushed the Corolla into the path of the Caravan, causing another crash, according to the release.

A Rock County highway shop sweeper truck was dispatched to move the corn off the highway, and workers from the company that owns the corn arrived to re-load it, Litsheim said.

The highway was reopened at 10:50 a.m.

Intoxication is not suspected as a factor in the crashes, Litsheim said.

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