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Did you witness fatal crash on Hwy 45 in West Bend? Officials want to hear from you

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WEST BEND — Were you a witness to a fatal crash on Highway 45 near Chestnut Street in West Bend on Monday, February 15th? If so, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office wants to hear from you.

Sheriff’s officials are asking anyone who may have directly observed the crash or other vehicles in the area at the time of the crash to contact the Sheriff’s Office at (262) 335-4420. 

Ryan Yauck

Ryan Yauck

18-year-old Ryan Yauck, a senior at West Bend East High School, was killed in the crash.

It happened on Highway 45 near Chestnut Street, near West Bend around 12:30 p.m.

Sheriff’s officials say Yauck was pronounced dead at the scene.

The operator of a northbound vehicle believed to have struck Yauck, a 34-year-old Palmyra man, wasn’t hurt.

An initial investigation has revealed Yauck was beside his vehicle, outside the lane of traffic, putting gas into his vehicle when he was struck by the northbound vehicle.

Officials say the northbound vehicle traveled over the fog line prior to striking the man.

Investigators are working to determine what caused the northbound vehicle to leave the roadway.

Alcohol and/or drugs are not believed to be factors in this incident.

Crash on Highway 45 near West Bend

Crash on Highway 45 near West Bend

Yauck’s death is hitting his classmates at West Bend East High School hard.

“Everyone was close to him, and now that he’s gone…” Jillian Jaycox said.

“He always brightened up everyone’s day — and it’s just sad to see him go,” Morgan Bould said.

“It was a tough, tough day (Monday) for staff, and (Tuesday) — even tougher,” Ted Neitzke, superintendent of West Bend Schools said.

Neitzke described Yauck as an intelligent student who took advanced placement classes, was fluent in French and had recently been accepted to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Neitzke said counselors and school psychologists will be staffing an area at the high school’s library for as long as necessary.

West Bend East High School

West Bend East High School

“Each hour of the day, it’s open to service students and staff to make sure that their emotional needs are met, and that we can help children cope,” Neitzke said.

“Everyone’s still kind of in shock,” Jaycox said.

The incident remains under investigation by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.



  • the family

    Please use a different photo, one that doesn’t evoke the thought of burning flames in the background, or get sued.

  • Karla

    Why is the driver that killed this young man not being brought up on charges? at the very least vehicular manslaughter and definitely inatentive driving! This is a horrific tradegy and that driver should be held accountable. Was he too busy on his phone or something… do you not see a disabled vehicle and a person standing next to it! I hope the family pushes and pushes for charges!! Such a sad horrible completely avoidable tragedy. So very sorry for their loss.

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