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Truck rams car into restaurant

Driver suffers broken arm

By Scott Bellile

A garbage truck driver suffered a broken arm after pushing a parked car into The Loose Wheel Supper Club on Thursday, Dec. 17.

The driver, a 32-year-old Waupaca man working for Graichen Sanitation in New London, was taken into surgery for a compound fracture. Hortonville Police couldn’t release his name due to HIPAA laws.

A staff member for Graichen Sanitation told the Press Star the driver wasn’t seriously injured.

The cause of the accident remains under investigation, Hortonville Police Chief Mike Sullivan said. Investigators are looking to determine whether the crash occurred from driver error or equipment failure.

On Dec. 17 around 2:30 p.m., the garbage truck driver was traveling eastbound on Main Street when he veered his garbage truck to the right and struck an unoccupied car legally parked on the street.

The truck then pushed the car about 20 yards before the car spun and slammed against the wooden deck in front of The Loose Wheel. All but two support beams were knocked down and a concrete wall was damaged.

A passenger in the garbage truck was not injured. The parked car was totaled, and the garbage truck was given to the Wisconsin State Patrol for further investigation.

Loose Wheel owner Stephanie Williamson said the owner of the parked car was inside her restaurant ready to leave when the building started shaking.

Williamson looked out the window and said she saw the garbage truck up beside her deck extremely close to the restaurant. She and her customer went to help the injured truck driver.

“It wasn’t exactly what I was expecting on my Thursday afternoon,” Williamson said.

Williamson said she was thankful the vehicle owner didn’t leave her restaurant a minute earlier.

“If somebody would have been in that car, I don’t think it would have been the same outcome,” Williamson said.

The Loose Wheel remains open. Williamson said she may make temporary fixes to her deck to get the wheelchair accessible ramp open again, and then remodel the deck next spring.

Whatever facelift the deck gets will resemble the original in order to preserve the historic appearance of the building, which was constructed in the 1800s, Williamson said.

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