9 killed, 1 injured in rural Wisconsin truck-passenger van collision

March 9 (UPI) -- Nine people are dead and another person is hospitalized Saturday following a collision between a passenger van and a semi-trailer truck in rural west-central Wisconsin.

The passenger van was northbound on a county road and carrying nine people when it crossed into the intersection of Wisconsin State Hwy. 95 near Dewhurst Township, located about 150 miles southeast of Minneapolis and 200 miles northwest of Milwaukee.

The van collided with the semi, which was eastbound on the state highway, shortly before 8 a.m. on Friday, the Clark County, Wis., Sheriff's Department said in a release.

The semi came to a stop off of the highway with its trailer turned onto its side, while the van came to rest on its side on the shoulder of the road. The van appeared to have suffered fire damage, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

Eight of the van's passengers, including its driver, and the driver of the semi died, while one passenger in the van was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital in nearby Marshfield, Wis.

"Our hearts and prayers go out to the families and loved ones of all those involved as well as the first responders who worked quickly to provide support at the scene," Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers posted on X.

The first responders included the Clark County Sheriff, Wisconsin State Patrol, Hatfield, Wis., Fire and Rescue, Neillsville, Wis., Area Ambulance, and the Clark County Highway Department.

Clark County Coroner Clarissa Rochester pronounced the semi-truck driver and eight of the van's nine passengers dead at the scene. Hwy. 95 was closed most of the day and reopened after the initial investigation concluded and the van and semi were removed from the accident site.

State and local law enforcement are investigating the wreck's cause.

The accident victims haven't been identified pending notification of their family members. None are from the area and were passing through when the accident occurred, according to the sheriff's department.