The Dec. 15 crash in Marinette County killed a Kaukauna man and derailed a train. Marinette County Sheriff's Office photo
The Dec. 15 crash in Marinette County killed a Kaukauna man and derailed a train. Marinette County Sheriff's Office photo

UPDATE — A account has been launched to help with funeral expenses for a Kaukauna High School track coach killed in a crash.

Steven J. Buss, 58, of Kaukauna died Wednesday in the crash in Marinette County at a foggy train crossing.



MARINETTE COUNTY — A Kaukauna man died Wednesday when the service van he was driving was hit from behind in heavy fog and pushed underneath a moving train.

The crash killed Steven J. Buss, 58, of Kaukauna, according to Marinette County Sheriff Jerry Sauve.

Buss was the pole vault coach at Kaukauna High School and has been a coach at the AP Vaulting Club since 2014.

“It was so easy to tell that Steve loved being a coach and helping his athletes,” said Nicole Buchinger, a former track athlete for Kaukauna High School who now is a member of the University of Minnesota track team. “He showed so much genuine happiness for our successes on and off the track, which speaks to the amazing, selfless man he was. He positively impacted the lives of so many by truly believing in all of us.”

Marinette County dispatchers began receiving calls about 11:15 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021, of a serious multiple-vehicle crash involving a train on U.S. Highway 141 north of Green Bay in the Town of Pound.

Law enforcement, E.M.S. and fire departments were all dispatched to the scene where fog was causing very low visibility.

According to a Marinette County Sheriff’s Office news release, an Escanaba & Lake Superior train was crossing the four lane highway from east to west.

A loaded tanker semi full of fuel had stopped in the right northbound lane and a large service van had stopped in the left northbound lane.

Then out of the fog, a dump truck hit the service van from behind forcing the van under the train.

Another dump truck then hit the first dump truck and also hit the train with such force to derail the train, causing complete blockage of both northbound and southbound lanes of U.S. Highway 141.

Buss was the lone occupant in his vehicle.

The operators of both dump trucks were injured and transported to the hospital for treatment. Their conditions are not know but no reports of any life threatening injuries have been received.

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By Dan Plutchak

Dan Plutchak, born and raised in Kaukauna, is cofounder of Kaukauna Community News.