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A tanker crash early Wednesday morning in Wood County left
the driver dead. It happened around 2 a.m. just south of Marshfield in the town
of Richfield. County Highway A was closed for close to 12 hours.
Authorities say the driver was 47-year-old Rodney Koenemann
from Holmen—that's north of La Crosse. He worked for Kwik Trip. Officials say
Koenemann's tanker was full of fuel at the time.
"Evidence shows the truck gradually went off the road, and
then the driver attempted to over correct and then hit an embankment and
overturned," Lt. Shawn Becker with the Wood County Sheriff's Department said.
Authorities say the driver was pronounced dead at the scene.
"The whole cab of the truck was crushed. It was primarily
head injuries, but there were other injuries as well," Becker said.
Wood County officials say the tanker was full of fuel, but
that very little gas leaked.
"Could have been horrible, terrible situation if we had a
lot of leakage, even worse if it had ignited," Becker told Newsline 9.
Kwik Trip's corporate communications manager says there will
be an internal investigation, and the state will also look at other factors that
may have led to the crash.
"The state patrol will have an investigator take a look at
the vehicle to see if there are any equipment issues that could have been
contributing factors," Becker said.
Kwik Trip leaders say crashes like this are rare for their
"Our drivers drive over 20 million miles a year. Most years
we are accident free," Kwik Trip Corporate Communications Manager John McHugh
Leaders at Kwik Trip didn't know how long Koenemann worked
there. But they say he will be missed.
"Rodney was well known in our company, especially among
drivers--just a great human being. So it's a great deal of loss for the family
and the Kwik Trip family," McHugh said.
Another Kwik Trip tanker did come to the scene to remove
fuel from the other rig.
Authorities say alcohol and phone usage were not factors in
this crash. They say the investigation will take some time.
One person is dead after a fuel tanker crash in Wood County early Wednesday morning.
Authorities say Rodney Koenemann, 47, of Holmen was killed.
The accident happened in the Township of Richfield around 2:00 a.m.
According to the Wood County Sheriff's Department, the driver of a tanker failed to negotiate a curve on County HWY A, and ran off the road before the vehicle rolled.
The driver died at the scene.
Part of County HWY A was closed down so officials could investigate and clean-up.
Officials tell Newsline 9 the road opened back up at 1:00 p.m.
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