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Winona woman dies in fiery Crawford County accident

Kaitlyn Riley

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State Highway 35 was closed for nearly 8 hours after a fatal accident that happened around 3:16 a.m. Thursday.

The Crawford County Sheriff’s Office was called to a two-vehicle crash on State Highway 35 near Caya Road in the Township of Seneca. A 63-year-old Prairie du Chien man was driving a semi-tractor trailer northbound on the highway when a 2020 Dodge Durango driven by a 34-year-old Winona woman traveling south crossed the center line and hit the semi-tractor trailer head-on.

The Dodge Durango overturned and became fully engulfed in flames, according to the sheriff’s department. The semi-tractor trailer went off the highway into a marsh area near the railroad tracks.

The man escaped with non-life-threatening injuries, but the woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

Names have not been released at this time. The crash remains under investigation.

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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