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UPDATE: Two children dead from car-semi accident near Prescott

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news River Falls, 54022
River Falls Journal
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River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

PRESCOTT - Two children were killed, and three other people were hurt after a truck and an SUV collided yesterday in Oak Grove Township at the interesection of Hwy. 35 and 468th Ave.

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An 11-year-old girl in the SUV died at the scene and another passenger -- a five-year-old girl -- died later at a hospital.  The crash happened about 3:40 yesterday afternoon.  

Pierce County Sheriff Nancy Hove said in a news conference Friday afternoon, Kari Millberg, 32, Centuria, Wis., was southbound on Hwy. 35, driving a 2005 Saturn Vue, when it rotated sideways across the roadway into the path of a northbound straight truck driven by Jose Mendoza, 24, Rockford, Illinois. Mendoza then collided with the rear of the Vue in the northbound lane. 

There were five passengers in the Millberg vehicle. The 11-year-old was a daughter to Millberg, while the five-year-old was a niece, who attended Prescott Schools, Hove said. The other two passengers -- a three-year-old boy, a son to Millberg and a five-year-old girl, another niece to Millberg were all taken to Regions Hospital for treatment along with Millberg. Millberg was the only one ejected from the vehicle, while the children were belted and in their car seats. A spokesperson said Friday morning Millberg was in critical condition. Hove declined to give the names of the children involved citing the ongoing matter of the investigation. 

Hove also refused to speculate on what cause Millberg's vehicle to spin, causing it to enter the northbound lane. 

Mendoza had two other passengers in his truck. Hove said since they were witnesses to the crash, their names will not be released as of yet. Mendoza was working the time of the accident, Hove added, but his destination is unknown.  

Hove said the likelihood was Millberg was headed to a sister's house in Prescott. She said the family has been very traumatized since the accident as Millberg's two nieces in the car belonged to two separate sisters, meaning three families were involved. The other children involved attended schools in Polk County.

"You are dealing with kids," Hove said, when asked about the effect it's had on her officers. "It's very traumatic for whole community."

The road was closed until approximately 9:45 p.m., as crews from the Sheriff's Department and Wisconsin State Patrol. The State Patrol will do a reconstruction of the accident, Hove said. 

Also on scene were personnel and vehicles from Prescott and Ellsworth fire departments and Prescott and River Falls ambulance departments. 

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