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3 Teens Dead In Crash Near Eau Claire

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WCCO) — Wisconsin State Troopers are investigating a single-vehicle crash that killed three teenagers and injured two others.

The State Patrol said the crash happened near Eau Claire around 7 p.m. Tuesday after a car was seen speeding in Washington Township.

The vehicle crashed, rolled over and ended up at the bottom of a steep hill near the 6500 block of Walnut Road. There were five teenagers inside.

All involved were reportedly students in the Eleva-Strum School District.

“When the phone rang at 6, I knew in my heart that something happened,” said the school’s superintendent, Craig Semingson.

According to the Eau Claire County Sheriff’s Office, 13-year-old Makena Johnson and 14-year-old Austin Gable were killed in the crash. Gable was the driver of the vehicle and he did not have a license.

Eau Claire County Sheriff Ron Cramer said the medical examiner told him one of the passengers, 15-year-old Marco Perez, also died after being transported to Sacred Heart Hospital.

Thirteen-year-old Ulises Ponce and 16-year-old Felicia Bertrang were injured. Both were taken to area hospitals, neither of which reported on their current conditions.

“The difficulty in this case is nobody had ID on them at this young age,” Eau Claire County Sheriff Ron Cramer told the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram.

The county sheriff’s office is still investigating, and a reconstruction team is working to determine the cause of the crash. The sheriff said speed was a contributing factor, and while alcohol is not suspected, toxicology tests will be conducted on the driver.

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