Contact: Crystal Wendt
----Sources: Scrap book one: by Elsa Lange Hardrath & Dorthaleen Edwards Hardrath
Contributed by Halbert "Bud" Hardrath
AREA YOUTH KILLED BY AUTOMOBILE NEAR POPPLE RIVER BRIDGE
Jessica Porath, age 10, was killed on Saturday, July 1, when she was stuck by an automobile on County Highway N at the Popple River Bridge between Robin Avenue and Romadka Avenue in the Clark County Township of Green Grove.
The rural Owen Youth said airlifted to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Marshfield where she died as a result of her injuries.
According to the investigation conducted by the Clark County Sheriff’s Department the Wisconsin State Patrol, Porath had been a passenger in a pickup driven by Lori Muehlbauer, 39, of Janesville. She was once of three children that Muehlbauer was taking to the Popple River to go swimming.
The pickup had just been parked on the south shoulder of the road near Popple River Bridge when Porath apparently got out of the passenger side of the vehicle, ran around the front of and onto the highway.
At that same instant, Ricky Bjork, 38, of Owen was driving his pickup eastbound on County Highway N. Although he was driving under the posted speed limit, he was not able to avoid colliding with Jessica as she ran from behind the parked vehicle.
This was the fourteenth fatal crash for Clark County in the year 2000.
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