"Our best and brightest:" Accountants from Milwaukee killed in wrong-way, head-on crash

DANE COUNTY -- Three Milwaukee accountants were killed in a crash allegedly involving an intoxicated, wrong-way driver that happened on I-94 eastbound near Deerfield Wednesday night, November 2nd.

Officials with the Wisconsin State Patrol responded to a complaint of an SUV being driven erratically about 10:15 p.m. Wednesday, November 2nd. The SUV turned around and headed against traffic. A responding trooper was nearly hit head-on before the vehicle collided with two cars -- head-on.

According to RitzHolman CPAs officials, Kim Radtke of Milwaukee, Clenton Hall of Waterloo and Katey Pasqualini of Milwaukee, senior staff accountants at RitzHolman in Milwaukee -- all in their 20s -- died as a result of injuries sustained in the crash. Brian Falk of Whitefish Bay, a supervisor at RitzHolman, was seriously hurt in the crash.

Officials said he suffered life-threatening injuries.

RitzHolman officials said in a statement the four were returning from La Crosse, where they presented at a recruiting and networking event for UW-La Crosse accounting students when the crash happened.

RitzHolman officials said this in the statement:

"Due to their professionalism and outgoing personalities, they served as the leadership team for RitzHolman's outreach to and recruitment of young accounting professionals.

Our family at RitzHolman is shocked at this tragedy and incomprehensible loss of three of our best and brightest.

Kim, Clenton and Katey, all members of the tax department at RitzHolman were dedicated to the communities they served and represented the firm and their profession in an exemplary manner. Their loss is devastating to colleagues, family, friends and clients throughout southeastern Wisconsin.

Brian is a highly respected supervisor at RitzHolman, where he serves as a model for the dedicated young professionals on the audit team.

Our prayers are with Brian and his family as he fights to recover from the very serious injuries he sustained in the crash.

Please keep the families of Brian, Kim, Clenton and Katey in your thoughts and prayers as we all struggle to understand this senseless tragedy and unfathomable loss."

A driver of the second car that was struck also died as a result of this crash. He was a 23-year-old man from Northbrook, Illinois. He has not been identified.

The driver of the SUV was identified as a 32-year-old man from Waunakee. He also suffered life-threatening injuries. He has not been identified.

Even for investigators on scene, this was a devastating accident.

"We're humans too, and when you see this kind of damage and carnage out there, it's very difficult to process. I know that my people out there that were working last night, they're professional. They're going to take care of this job," said Sergeant William Miller, Wisconsin State Patrol.

Officials with the Wisconsin State Patrol said alcohol use is suspected to be a contributing factor in this incident.