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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Porterfield Chairman Killed While Clearing Downed Tree

Issue Date: August 8, 2013

The chairman of the Town of Porterfield, Eugene LaCombe, 67, died as the result of injuries received while attempting to clear a town road of felled trees as a result of a storm that passed through the area late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning, Aug. 6 and 7. Also injured was Keith Franks, 23, Town of Porterfield, who was helping him and is expected to recover.

They were struck by a vehicle operated by Brandon J. Kopf, 19, Town of Porterfield.

LaCombe and Franks were transported to Bay Area Medical Center where LaCombe died later of injuries received in the crash. Franks received injuries but is expected to recover.

Marinette County Sheriff Jerry Sauve reported at 1:42 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 7, that dispatch received a 911 call reporting a traffic crash on Bagley Road in which a vehicle had struck two people.

Sauve reported heavy rain and wind at the time of the crash and glare of headlights from the LaCombe vehicle are contributing factors to Kopf not seeing the men working in the roadway. Alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the crash.

Sheriff deputies and other emergency responders were dispatched to the scene. Investigation of the scene revealed that a tree had fallen across Bagley Road during the thunder storm. LaCombe and Franks were cutting up the tree to remove it from the roadway. LaCombe’s vehicle was parked in the northbound lane with its headlights and flashers on. They were working in the southbound lane when they were both struck by a southbound vehicle operated by Brandon J. Kopf, 19, Town of Porterfield.

The matter remains under investigation by the Sheriff’s office and Marinette County Coroner George Smith. It was Marinette County’s fifth traffic fatality in 2013.

The storm dumped almost two inches of rain in various parts of Marinette County as winds ripped through at over 35 miles an hour.

The storm caused outages in various parts of the county when winds toppled trees and branches onto electrical wires. At 8:45 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 7, Wisconsin Public Service reported outages affecting 427 customers. They were 9 outages in Marinette affecting 322 customers; five in Peshtigo for 72 customers, two in Crivitz for 32. Only one customer had no power in Menominee, Mich.

Jenny Short of WPS public relations in Menominee, Mich., reported power should be restored to those affected during Wednesday, Aug. 7.

Weather forecast for the next five days has improved conditions. Wednesday is expected to have intervals of sun and clouds with a stray morning storm possible but otherwise dry with a cool and comfortable night. High is 77 and low 51.

Thursday high of 76 and low of 57 with morning sun and increasing clouds with thunder showers possible at night.

On Friday morning are showers with decreasing clouds land high of 73 and low of 53.

Saturday will have a high of 73 and low of 51 partly cloudy and cooler.

Sunday will have increasing clouds with thunder showers at night. A high of 75 and low of 58 is expected


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Peshtigo, WI 54157
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