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Long road ahead for crash victims

Long road ahead for crash victims
Long road ahead for crash victims

A Sheldon woman is facing a long road to recovery after a November 4 crash in the town of Jump River.

Jaycee Zach, 22, of Sheldon has been airlifted twice and undergone multiple surgeries related to the crash. According to the family’s Caringbridge page, she is improving but as of Wednesday remained in ICU with hopes of being moved to a regular room by the end of the week if things continue to progress.

Zach was airlifted from the crash scene first to Eau Claire and then to Rochester, Minn. due to her injuries.

A Go Fund Me page has been set up to help with expenses at www.gofundme. com/f/contribute-to-jaycees-recovery.

A passenger in the vehicle, Cole Marks, 22, of Stanley was also transported and hospitalized as a result of the See CRASH on page 4 crash. As reported in the November 9 issue of The Star News, Marks had been instrumental in helping rescue motorists from a submerged car at a crash scene on October 31. This crash occurred just days later.

In addition to Marks and Zach, there were two other passengers in the vehicle, Brooke Jahner, 24, of Stanley and Hunter Schmuckal, 23, of Sheldon. Both were transported with possible injuries from the crash scene to Aspirus Medford Hospital.

According to the crash report, the crash occurred on November 4 at 6:50 p.m., a Toyota Camry operated by Zach was traveling northbound on Bridge Dr., north of Spur Road in the town of Jump River. According to the police report, the group were on their way to Bottoms Up in Jump River to get ice for a birthday party.

A tractor with a grain bin owned by David Barrett, 63 of Sheldon was parked in the northbound lane of Bridge Dr. facing northbound. A semi-tractor was parked alongside of the tractor facing southbound. Barrett was unloading grain into the tractor-trailer.

Zach continued traveling northbound and struck the grain bin that was attached to the tractor causing disabling damage to the vehicle and serious injuries to the occupants of Zach’s vehicle.

Barrett was ticketed for improper parking off roadway.

Deputy Brett Paul responded to the scene along with Jump River Fire Department and the EMS crew from Gilman. Ultimately four ambulances and two helicopters were called to the scene. Firefighters had to extricate both Zach and Marks from the vehicle. Both Zach and Marks were transported by helicopter from the scene to Mayo Hospital in Eau Claire.

When he arrived at the scene, he reported observing Zach’s vehicle wedged under the back of the grain bin that was connected to the trailer.

According to the deputy’s incident report, when he questioned Barrett about the rear lights of the bin not being activated, Barrett advised that the lights did work and believed that when the vehicle crashed into the rear of it that it cut the line since that is where they ran. Barrett also told the deputy the semi’s headlights were also activated.

“David stated that he initially did not know that he had been rear-ended. He stated that he felt a slight jolt forward but did not think anything of it. He stated that he did not know what had happened until the girl (Brooke) came around the side covered in blood telling him what happened,” Dep. Paul stated in his report. The semi driver, James Penoyer, also told the deputy the lights were on the semi and the grain bin.

When questioned by the deputy, Jahner told law enforcement that while the semi in the southbound lane had its headlight on, she did not see any lights on the grain bin in the northbound lane.