Oakdale couple dies in triple fatal vehicle crash

Miriam “Lala” Espinosa and Thomas Plasch. (courtesy of Lala Ilyam Espinosa )

A fatal vehicle crash July 19 in western Wisconsin left three people dead, including a couple from Oakdale.

Driver Thomas John Plasch and his passenger Miriam Rosal Espinosa were traveling northbound on County Highway T in Stanton, Wisconsin, and struck a motorcyclist driving westbound on State Highway 64, the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office said.

Police identified the motorcycle driver as 34-year-old Cody Lynn Cook-Terhurne of Somerset, Wisconsin. He was riding a 2009 Harley Davidson and was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, officials said.

The crash, which occurred around 7 p.m., came just moments after emergency officials received notice of a fallen stop sign on northbound County Highway T at State Highway 64. At this time it is unclear whether the damaged stop sign played a role in the crash.

Both Plasch, 55, and Espinosa, 46, were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash. The engaged couple from Oakdale was traveling in a 2008 Lincoln.

All three victims were pronounced dead at the scene by the St. Croix County Medical Examiner. The fatalities mark the sixth, seventh, and eighth traffic deaths in St. Croix County this year, according to the county.

As the crash remains under investigation, loved ones are recalling their memories of the couple, who had been engaged since October 2016. 

Jamie Ybañez, Espinosa’s niece, said the two were the perfect pair. Plasch and Espinosa met through mutual friends before eventually living together in Oakdale. 

“I’ve never seen my aunt so happy ever since they were together,” Ybañez said. “For the past six years, all we could see was all smiles.”

The two often traveled across the United States and even planned to move to Florida after selling their house in the coming years.

Plasch’s memorial service was July 25. Espinosa’s was July 29.


–Amy Felegy can be reached at afelegy@lillienews.com or 651-748-7815.

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