Group of 9 traveling to state basketball tournament injured in Green Co. crash

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GREEN COUNTY, Wis. (WMTV) - A group of nine people were in the process of traveling to the Wisconsin Girls State Basketball Tournament in Green Bay when they were injured in a crash in Green County on Friday morning. They were going to the tournament to watch the Black Hawk Girls Basketball team.

The Black Hawk School District Administrator, Willy Chambers, said the school and community is coping the best they can, but the news is still fresh.

"There will be some efforts made both by the community and within the school itself in any way, shape or form that we can. The first thing is to really assess what they need and how we can help them," Chambers said.

The Green County Sheriff’s Office said the SUV they were inside collided with one of several deer that crossed Highway 69 just before 6 a.m. The driver took actions to avoid colliding with other deer when it was struck from behind by a semi-truck. The SUV sustained extensive damage.

An initial investigation has revealed that a 5-year-old boy from rural Gratiot who was seated in the rear middle seat was not wearing a seat belt. A 15-year-old girl from rural Gratiot was riding in the rear cargo area of the SUV. She was not restrained. The remaining occupants were reported to be wearing seat belts. The driver was a 54-year-old man from rural Gratiot. There were two adult passengers, an 85-year-old man and a 58-year-old woman. There were six children. They ranged in ages from 5-years-old to 16-years-old. All occupants were from rural Gratiot.

The sheriff’s office said some of the victims remain hospitalized while others have been released.

Driver of semi-truck was a 58-year-old man from Fond du Lac. The semi-truck was hauling whey. He was wearing a seat belt. He was released from the hospital.

“I’m glad that there were no fatalities. I hope we hope that members of that family and group that were in that vehicle come out okay so we’re just going to see what happens," said Sheriff Jeffrey Skatrud of Green County.

Highway 69 was re-opened around 1:30 p.m.

The sheriff said there are no indications that alcohol, cellular phone distractions, or any controlled substances had any involvement in the crash.

The sheriff said deputies will forward investigative reports to the Green County District Attorney when they are completed. The district attorney will evaluate those reports for any possible charges. No citations were issued on Friday.