By Shereen Siewert
TOWN OF SCOTT — A 26-year-old Wausau man is dead following an early morning crash after the car he was driving struck a Lamers Bus Lines motor coach loaded with Rhinelander-area passengers, police said Saturday.
Dispatchers first received a call just before 3 a.m. reporting a southbound driver in the northbound lane of Hwy. 51 near Hwy. Q, according to a Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department news release. Seconds later, a second call reported the crash.
The driver of the wrong-way vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene. His name has not yet been released.
The bus coach carried 29 passengers, several who complained of minor injuries in the crash. One bus passenger was transported to Ministry Good Samaritan Hospital in Merrill for treatment of injuries that were not life threatening, police said.
The bus was carrying passengers from the Rhinelander area who were returning from a Milwaukee Brewers baseball trip.
Hwy. 51 was closed to traffic for more than five hours following the crash, which is the second fatal Lincoln County crash since January 1.
Standard drug and alcohol test results are pending for both drivers, which is routine in all fatal crashes. Police said it is unclear if alcohol was a factor.