One transported after round-bale crash, fireSPRING VALLEY -- A 57-year-old Downsville man was transported to a Menomonie hospital to be checked over following a two-vehicle crash early Thursday that resulted in a rollover and dramatic fire.
By: Steve Dzubay, Pierce County Herald
SPRING VALLEY -- A 57-year-old Downsville man was transported to a Menomonie hospital for treatment following a two-vehicle crash at 7:51 a.m., Thursday that resulted in a rollover and fire.
Clayton D. Crouley, of rural Downsville, was northbound on Hwy. 128, about a mile south of Hwy. 29 in the town of Spring Lake when he attempted to pass a pickup truck-trailer rig that was towing a large round bale trailer. Crouley may have prompted to attempt a right-side pass because the truck's driver -- Easton Larson, 25, of Spring Valley -- had swung into the left lane to negotiate a right turn into a private driveway because of the trailer's length.
Pierce County sheriff's deputies reported that Larson's F350 Ford truck was struck by Crouley's passenger car, which then entered the ditch, struck several round bales, overturned and caught fire.
Terry Shafer, Spring Valley fire chief, first to arrive on the scene, found the car fully-involved with flames but Crouley had already escaped and was sitting conscious and alert a safe distance away.
He wasn't sure whether Crouley managed to crawl from the wreck on his own or whether he was rescued by someone.
Spring Valley firefighters quickly extinguished the burning vehicle and none of the nearby bales caught fire, Shafer said.
Crouley was taken by Spring Valley Ambulance to Red Cedar Medical Center in Menomonie with undisclosed injuries.
Shafer said firefighters feared the worst when the Pierce dispatcher advised one vehicle was on fire, but luckily Crouley hadn't been trapped in the wreckage or "the outcome could have been much, much worse."
Also assisting deputies at the scene were volunteers from the Elmwood Fire and Ambulance Service.