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Deadliest year on La Crosse County roads since 2011



It’s been the deadliest year of highway deaths since 2011 in La Crosse County.

As of Sunday, 13 have died in county accidents at last count. There were 17 in 2011. Six died in 2016.

One fatal hit-and-run this summer near Holmen apparently involved meth and heroin use, and the driver accused in that case goes on trial next July.

There were also two drivers who died after their cars went into Swift Creek — one of them, following a police chase through La Crosse.

Substance abuse and high speed are blamed for many of the worst accidents, according to La Crosse County Sheriff’s Dept. sergeant Mike Valencia.

“About half of that, maybe not even,” Valencia said of crashes involving alcohol or drugs. “But, I can really only speak with the ones we would work, and I would say in those, alcohol or drug use were a factor.”

He added that multi-fatality crashes helped lead to the high death toll in the county, which is not normal for the La Crosse area.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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