Third girl dies as result of western Wisconsin crash

  • Article by: JOY POWELL , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 14, 2013 - 10:32 PM

Laynie Jo Amos, 5, died from her injuries in an accident in western Wisconsin. Two of her cousins died earlier.

A third child died Saturday from injuries suffered two days earlier in the crash of an SUV and a truck near Prescott, Wis., the Ramsey County medical examiner’s office confirmed.

Doctors had said Friday that Laynie Jo Amos, the 5-year-old daughter of Kassi Milberg Amos and Joe Amos of Amery, Wis., had brain swelling with less than a 1 percent chance of survival.

“Heaven has another angel. Rest in peace Laynie bug,” a loved one wrote on the family’s CaringBridge website about 3 p.m. Saturday.

Laynie’s cousin, Lydia Milberg, 11, of Centuria, Wis., died Thursday at the scene of the collision on Hwy. 35 near 468th Street. Another cousin, 5-year-old Clara, daughter of Kati Milberg Pavek and Michael Pavek of Prescott, was pronounced dead at River Falls Area Hospital shortly after the crash.

The driver of the SUV, Kari Jo Milberg, 32, of Centuria, was Lydia’s mother. She and her 3-year-old son, Easton Milberg, are recovering.

Kari Milberg remained in critical condition Saturday at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, a spokesman said. She has undergone multiple surgeries but is improving, loved ones wrote Saturday on CaringBridge.

Easton, who was buckled into a car seat, had minor injuries and is recovering at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, the website said.

The collision occurred about 3:40 p.m. Thursday on Hwy. 35 in Oak Grove Township, east of Hastings, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office said.

The driv­er of the truck, Jose Mendoza, 24, of Rockford, Ill., was not in­jured, nor were his two pas­sen­gers.

Kari Milberg was head­ed south in the SUV when it spun sideways across the road­ into the northbound lane, Sheriff Nancy Hove said. The truck collided with the rear of the SUV, she said.

The Sheriff’s Office is investigating whether road conditions played a role in the collision.

Kari Milberg and her family live more than an hour north of the crash scene, along Hwy. 35 in Centuria. She is a night-shift nurse at Lakeview Hospital in Stillwater, where fellow employees said they were praying for her and her relatives.

The mothers of the children are three Milberg sisters who are well known in the Centuria-Amery area. Many residents were praying and offering support, a local school official said.

“We are offering additional counseling services for students, and the community and will be doing so for some time,” said Brandon Robinson, superintendent of the Unity School District in Balsam Lake, Wis.

Lydia was a sixth-grader at Unity Middle School in Balsam Lake. “Unity is such a close-knit community, and her death affects so many,” Robinson said.

“Lydia was a wonderful student at Unity and will be missed greatly,” Robinson said earlier in a written statement. “She had a positive attitude and illuminating smile that impacted others around her. She was an amazing girl. She excelled academically, always earning an honorable mention recognition each quarter. She was involved in extracurricular activities such as athletics, music and other school activities, recently winning an all school jump-roping competition.”

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  • Lydia Milberg, 11, of Centuria, Wis., is one of three girls who died after a crash Thursday.

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