City worker killed in crash while helping stranded driver in Wisconsin

Published: Feb. 9, 2023 at 8:54 AM CST
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PRESCOTT, Wis. (KARE) - Friends of a public works foremen in Wisconsin are remembering him as someone always ready to help those in need.

Officials say Doug Whaley died while trying to help a mother and her 3-week-old baby who were in a car stuck in the ditch.

The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office says the accident happened on Highway 35 just outside of Prescott. Coworkers say Whaley was on call Monday night, and he got the call to come in and lay down some salt and sand, because the roads were icy in town.

On his way in, he came across a young woman and her baby stuck in the ditch and decided to stop and help.

“He was always one that would never leave nobody behind, which that’s why it happened,” said Mike Kinneman with the Prescott Public Works Department.

Kinneman could not say enough good things about his friend and coworker, who was a jack of all trades.

“I mean, one day we’re asking him to be on one of our streets pouring a sidewalk, and the next day we’re asking him to pull his plow truck in and take an engine apart and fix it,” said Matt Wolf, Prescott city administrator.

The sheriff’s office says Whaley was hit by a box truck on the highway after he stopped to help another driver Monday night. He died a short time later at the hospital.

The 3-week-old baby and a 13-year-old girl were also treated for minor injuries after the crash.

Kinneman says it’s been a tough week for him and his crew, but he’s not surprised to hear that Whaley died while helping someone in need.

“No, that didn’t surprise me a bit,” Kinneman said. “I’ve seen him on his dump truck, which is behind me, standing on top throwing sand out to a semi that was stuck. He was willing to help everybody.”

Kinneman says his friend was always on the move and always helping people who needed him.

“He was a donor, so, he’s still working at it,” Kinneman said. “He’s still taking care of people.”