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One driver killed in fiery wreck near Platteville

Published On: Dec 12 2012 12:23:00 PM CST   Updated On: Dec 12 2012 04:24:39 PM CST

LANCASTER, Wis. -

A driver was killed in a fiery crash near Platteville on Tuesday, authorities said.

At 3:35 p.m., the Grant County Sheriff’s Department responded to a report of a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of Highway 151 and County O.

The sheriff’s department said Courtney Yuskis, 31, of Des Moines, Iowa, was driving a southbound on Highway 151 in a 2012 Ford Taurus when the driver of the 1996 Dodge Dakota pulled onto 151 from County O.

According to the initial report, Yuskis struck the Dakota in the driver’s side door causing the Dakota to roll onto its side in the median.

Three citizens -- including a Cuba City volunteer fire fighter -- stopped to assist the driver of the Dakota out of the truck. As the three were attempting to remove the windshield to pull the trapped driver out, the truck caught fire. The three onlookers were not able to free the trapped driver, the sheriff said.

Yuskis was transported to Southwest Health Center by Platteville EMS for minor injuries, according to the report.

The Grant County coroner pronounced the Dakota driver dead at the scene.

The Grant County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday identified the driver who died as Dennis Novinski, 82, of Blanchardville.

Sheriff's officials said an autopsy determined that Novinski died before the vehicle started on fire.

Novinski suffered multiple internal injuries caused from the crash, sheriff's officials said.

Chief Deputy Jack Johnson said alcohol and speed were not considered factors in the fatal crash. The sheriff’s department also said both drivers were wearing their seat belts.

According to the report, the car driven by Yuskis is owned by the Meredith Corp.

The Grant County Sheriff’s Department said the Platteville Fire Department, Platteville EMS, UW-Platteville Campus Police, Wisconsin State Patrol, Grant County Coroner’s Office, and Donnie’s Tire and Auto of Dickeyville assisted at the scene.

This incident is still under investigation.

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