Wisconsin Rapids, WI Auto And Tractor Trailer Crash, Aug 1991


Wisconsin Rapids (AP) - Wood County Sheriff Brian Illingworth said Friday there is no doubt in his mind that alcohol was a contributing factor to a traffic accident this week in which five people were killed, including four members of one family.
Illingworth said he based his view on observations made at the scene of the Wednesday night collision of the family's car and a flatbed semi-trailer truck loaded with pulpwood at the intersection of Wisconsin 54 and County Trunk U and on information gathered during the investigation.
The sheriff said he could smell the odor of alcohol on the body of the car driver, MICHAEL J. RAISBECK, 35, and that the accident investigation showed the RAISBECK family had been in area bars, and that MICHAEL RAISBECK had been drinking.
Portage County Coroner Scott Rifleman took a blood test for alcohol from the bodies of RAISBECK and the truck driver, GAIL A. RINDAHL, 44, Deerbrook, and said he expects the test results back in a week to 10 days.
Also killed in the accident were RAISBECK'S wife, LOUWELLA, 27, and their daughters, CHRISTINA, 5, and STACEY, 16 months.
Illingworth said neither of the RAISBECKS ever been arrested for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.
The RAISBECK family had celebrated MRS. RAISBECK'S birthday a day late with a special dinner Wednesday night at a bar in the Kellner area.
They were en route to the apartment of MRS. RAISBECK'S sister, Gayle Arkinson, 32, when the crash happened.

Wausau Daily Herald Wisconsin 1991-08-03