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Family, friends grieving 9 dead in Wisconsin crash between semi, van

A family friend said the lone survivor of the crash was a two-year-old boy.
Family and friends grieving 9 dead in Wisconsin crash between semi and van
Posted at 11:37 AM, Mar 11, 2024

DEWHURST, WIS — Family and friends are sharing more about the nine people who died in a crash in Central Wisconsin Friday.

According to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, the crash happened Friday morning in Dewhurst Township, around 45 miles southeast of Eau Claire. Officials said a van was struck by a tractor-trailer at an intersection.

The driver of the tractor-trailer was killed, and eight of the nine people in the van, including the driver of that vehicle, also died, the office said. They were all pronounced dead at the scene.

A family friend said the lone survivor from the van was a two-year-old boy.

“We’re actually on our way to Wisconsin now to pick up their two-year-old grandson who was the only survivor, and was surprisingly not harmed. But he’s missing his mom. You can imagine just how hard that’s going to be,” Allen Gross, the family friend, shared over a Facetime video.

Gross and the boy’s grandparents are currently driving to Wisconsin from Virginia to be by the boy's side.

He shared that some of those killed in the van include 23-year-old Orlah Schrock, his wife, Ellen, and their six-month-old daughter, Judy Rose.

He said Orlah's sister, Delilah Schrock, also died.

Those are all of the names we are sharing at this time because we want to make sure family and next of kin are notified.

Gross also shared that the people in the van were members of the Amish community in Burke’s Garden, Virginia.

“The Amish are very private and in a humbling way. It’s just tragic because they show the love of the lord wherever they go,” Gross said. It's that faith, Gross added, that the grandfather of the family is holding close:

“Trust in the lord for his blessings.”

Their family has created a GoFundMe to help pay for funeral expenses.

We also talked with the ex-wife of the driver of the van. She said he often drives Amish people in the Burke’s garden area.

“I didn’t think anything of it that he was taking a trip to Wisconsin. Your heart sinks, you just don’t know how to act, don’t know how to take it, or know if any suffered before they died,” Lavada Stout said through tears.

“We were like best friends and talked every day. I’ve known him 20 years before we got married.”

The driver and sole occupant of the semi was also pronounced dead at the scene.