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Two motorcyclists and dog injured in accident



The incident remains under investigation by the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office.

The Vernon County Sheriff’s office responded to a van vs. motorcycle crash around 11:30 a.m. Friday. It happened on State Hwy 80 south of County Road EE in the town of Greenwood.

Samantha M. Baly, 31, of rural Wonewoc, was driving south and turned into a private driveway, according to a news release. She did not see two motorcycles traveling north and turned into their path. The sheriff’s office said Stephen R. Cournia, 78, of rural Richland Center could not avoid colliding with Baly’s vehicle.

Cournia was towing a small motorcycle trailer behind his motorcycle with a dog in it. The motorcycle trailer dislodged from the motorcycle and hit another motorcycle that was behind Cournia. The driver of that motorcycle, Bruce W. Gander, 60, of rural Lone Rock lost control and slid down the road.

Cournia was transported from the scene by Hillsboro EMS to Gundersen St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hillsboro with serious injuries and later flown to Gundersen Health Systems in Lacrosse by Gundersen Air. Gander was treated and released with non-life-threatening injuries from Gundersen St. Joseph’s Hospital.

Baly had five juveniles in her vehicle who were not hurt, according to the sheriff’s office. Cournia’s dog was taken by private vehicle to the Madison Animal Hospital with serious injuries.

The incident remains under investigation by the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office.

Kaitlyn Riley’s passion for communications started on her family’s dairy farm in Gays Mills, Wis. Wanting to share agriculture’s story, she studied strategic communications and broadcast journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In college, she held officer positions with the Association of Women in Agriculture and Badger Dairy Club while volunteering as a news reporter for the college radio station. She also founded the university’s first agricultural radio talk show, AgChat. In her professional career, Kaitlyn has worked in radio, print and television news doing everything from covering local events to interviewing presidential candidates, and putting back on her barn boots to chat with farmers in the field. Today, Kaitlyn can be seen covering local stories that matter to you in the La Crosse area.

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