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HomeObituaryMackenzie Van Eperen: A Tragic Loss of a Young Life

Mackenzie Van Eperen: A Tragic Loss of a Young Life

Mackenzie Van Eperen: 9-year-old girl was killed in a tragic semi-tractor crash

In a heart-wrenching turn of events, the Combined Locks community is mourning the loss of Mackenzie M. Van Eperen, a 9-year-old girl who tragically succumbed to injuries sustained in a crash. The incident, which occurred on June 2, 2023, has left the community devastated and grieving.

The Tragic Incident: 9-Year-Old Mackenzie M. Van Eperen Succumbs to Injuries

On that fateful afternoon, Mackenzie M. Van Eperen was struck by a bobtail semi tractor unit driven by Brian James Du Frane, a 59-year-old resident of Kaukauna, Wisconsin. The collision took place on South Washington Street, and sadly, Mackenzie suffered severe injuries that ultimately led to her untimely demise. It is an unimaginable loss that has shaken the community to its core.

Details of the Crash

Brian James Du Frane, the driver responsible for the collision, emerged physically unharmed from the accident. However, the impact on young Mackenzie was devastating. The preliminary investigation reveals that she was on foot at the time of the crash, and the collision resulted in the severe injuries that tragically claimed her life.

Response from Law Enforcement Agencies

Upon receiving the distressing news, the Wisconsin State Patrol Fond du Lac Post swiftly responded to the scene of the accident. The Fox Valley Metro Police Department and Outagamie County Sheriff’s Office joined forces in managing the situation and initiating a comprehensive investigation. Their prompt and coordinated efforts were crucial in addressing the aftermath of the tragedy.

Multiple agencies offered their support during the response to the incident. The Outagamie County Sheriff’s Office, Fox Valley Metro Police Department, as well as the Kimberly, Combined Locks, and Buchannan First Responders and Fire Departments, played vital roles in providing assistance. The presence of the Kaukauna Ambulance ensured immediate medical aid was available as required.

Investigation by the Wisconsin State Patrol Technical Reconstruction Unit

To uncover the precise details surrounding the incident, the Wisconsin State Patrol Technical Reconstruction Unit was deployed to the crash site. Their expertise in accident reconstruction and analysis will shed light on the circumstances leading to the collision. By meticulously collecting evidence and documenting the scene, the unit aims to conduct a thorough investigation and provide valuable insights.

Impact on the Local Community

The loss of young Mackenzie M. Van Eperen has had a profound impact on the local community. Friends, family, and neighbors are grappling with the weight of this tragedy, struggling to come to terms with the sudden loss of a bright young life. Recognizing the need for support during this difficult time, emotional support systems have been put in place to help those affected cope with their grief and find solace.

Importance of Road Safety

This unfortunate incident serves as a stark reminder of the critical importance of road safety. It highlights the need for all individuals, whether drivers or pedestrians

or cyclists, to remain vigilant and adhere to traffic rules and regulations. The safety of everyone sharing the roads should be a top priority. By practicing responsible and cautious behavior, we can protect vulnerable road users and prevent such devastating tragedies from occurring in the future.


The Combined Locks community is united in mourning the loss of 9-year-old Mackenzie M. Van Eperen, whose life was tragically cut short by a devastating crash. As investigations into the incident continue, it is imperative that we collectively strive to improve road safety awareness. We must work towards creating safer environments for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers alike, ensuring that no more lives are lost unnecessarily.

In memory of Mackenzie and in honor of all those affected by this tragic event, let us remember the importance of staying alert, following traffic regulations, and fostering a culture of mutual respect on our roads.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Q: What were the immediate actions taken after the accident? A: The Wisconsin State Patrol Fond du Lac Post, Fox Valley Metro Police Department, and Outagamie County Sheriff’s Office swiftly responded to the scene and initiated an investigation.
  2. Q: Who was the driver responsible for the collision? A: Brian James Du Frane, a resident of Kaukauna, Wisconsin, was identified as the driver responsible for the accident.
  3. Q: Did the driver sustain any injuries? A: No, the driver did not suffer any physical injuries during the crash.
  4. Q: How did the community respond to the tragedy? A: The Combined Locks community has been deeply affected by the loss and has come together to provide support and comfort to those grieving.
  5. Q: What steps can individuals take to improve road safety? A: It is crucial for all individuals to remain vigilant, follow traffic rules, and prioritize the safety of all road users, including pedestrians and cyclists.

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