Couple from Milwaukee killed after Clark Co. highway washes away

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WILLARD, Wis. (AP) — Authorities say three people died in crashes after heavy rain washed away a 50-foot stretch of highway in central Wisconsin.

Clark County Deputy Jim Backus says a motorist discovered two vehicles early Thursday in the large ravine in rural Willard, about 50 miles southeast of Eau Claire.

Authorities say a pickup truck carrying two people crashed into the crevasse. Another vehicle with one occupant then crashed into the same gorge. All three were pronounced dead at the scene.

The victims were identified as 56-year-old Thomas Jurceka and 57-year-old Susan Jurceka of Milwaukee; and 24-year-old Mary Malinowski of Thorp.

FOX6 News spoke with the daughter of the Milwaukee couple, who said they were heading to a wedding this weekend, and stopped at their family's cottage along the way.

"I guess whatever spot they hit, they just dropped and nose dived to the opening on the other side which was basically like a cliff," Rebecca Domenech said.

The National Weather Service says the area got 1 to 3 inches of rain in the last day, and that the soil was saturated from heavy rains earlier this week.