By Shereen Siewert | Wausau Pilot & Review

A crash that left two D.C. Everest High School students dead and two teens critically injured happened in Washington County, near West Bend, Wausau Pilot & Review has learned.

Emily Lewerenz, an 18-year-old senior, and Danny Johnson, a 16-year-old junior, both died in the May 20 crash. The students’ deaths were announced to classmates in an email sent Sunday.

According to Washington County Sheriff’s officials, the crash was reported at about 12:20 p.m. May 20 at the intersection of Hwy. 144 and County Hwy. H, in the town of Farmington. Police say an 18-year-old Wausau woman was driving an SUV that was struck by a tractor-trailer livestock hauler. The SUV veered down an embankment and entered a ditch.

The driver, along with a 17-year-old Wausau teen riding in the front passenger seat, were critically injured in the crash and were taken to a hospital. Two medical helicopters were dispatched to the scene.

The names and current conditions of the two survivors have not been released. Lewerenz and Johnson, who were riding in the back seat of the SUV, died at the scene.

On Monday, Washington County officials released the following information:

Official report

On Saturday, May 20, 2023, at approximately 12:21pm, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office received several reports of a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of Hwy 144 and Cty Tk H in the Town of Farmington. The first caller advised the crash involved a tractor-trailer livestock hauler which struck a small sport utility vehicle. Fire & Rescue from Kewaskum and Boltonville were immediately dispatched to the scene along with sheriff’s deputies.

The first deputy arrived within three minutes of the 911 call and quickly determined there were four critically injured subjects from the SUV and two occupants in the tractor trailer. The deputy requested West Bend Intercept to the scene and Flight for Life be put on stand-by. The second deputy arrived one minute after the first deputy and was advised by citizen there were two subjects from the SUV who were pulseless and non-breathing. Both deputies, a first responder and a citizen, performed CPR on the two most critical patients and utilized AEDs from the deputies’ squad cars. Life-saving efforts continued by first responders and rescue personnel on the two patients without success. The two rear passengers in the SUV died on scene.

Meanwhile, the driver of the SUV was helped out of the vehicle by citizens who stopped. The front seat passenger was still in the vehicle and rescuers were holding cervical spine immobilization as a precaution until extrication could be performed. The driver of the SUV was later transported via ambulance to Froedtert West Bend. The front passenger was transported via Flight for Life to Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee. All occupants of the SUV were from Marathon County, WI. The driver and passenger of the tractor-trailer were not injured and were cooperative during the investigation.

The preliminary investigation, supported by witness statements, revealed the tractor-trailer was traveling northbound on Hwy 144 and was loaded with cattle. The SUV was eastbound on Cty Tk H and had stopped at the stop sign at the intersection. When the tractor-trailer had almost reached the intersection, the SUV abruptly pulled out in front of the tractor-trailer. The SUV was struck on the passenger side of the vehicle by the tractor trailer despite the semi driver’s attempt to avoid the collision. The SUV ended up in the northeast corner of the intersection down the embankment in the ditch line. The tractor-trailer went off the road and overturned in the east ditch line. Several cattle were ejected when the tractor-trailer overturned, but they were quickly corralled by citizens who stopped to help. Two cattle died due to the accident and one additional head of cattle was euthanized by a local veterinarian on scene due to serious injury.

Speed and alcohol are not believed to be a factor. D.C. Everest officials referred questions to Everest Metro Police Department, but Wausau Pilot & Review later learned the crash was out of the EMPD’s jurisdiction.

D.C. Everest officials are offering counseling for students at the school.