Family killed in crash had recently moved to Merrill area
Initially reported to be from Oklahoma, a family killed in a two-vehicle crash on Hwy. K in the town of Maine Thursday morning had recently moved to the Merrill area.
Roy Kato and his wife Jenny, both 35, and their son Joshua, 13, were killed in the collision on the slippery roadway. Their daughter, Brooke, 5, survived the crash and was hospitalized at Aspirus Wausau Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Roy and Jenny both attended high school in Michigan. After their marriage and Roy’s honorable discharge from the U.S. Air Force, they lived in the Wausau area for several years. The family moved to Oklahoma in 2008 and had just recently returned to the Wausau/Merrill area. Roy’s mother and maternal grandparents live in Merrill.
Roy worked for Old Castle Glass Company and Jenny was a school bus driver in both Wausau and Oklahoma. The Kato’s were very active in their church, Wausau Area JayCee’s and Boy Scouts.
The crash occurred at approximately 8:35 a.m. Thursday morning near Decator Drive in Marathon County. The Kato’s vehicle reportedly slid across the center line of Hwy. K and was struck by a vehicle driven by a 32-year-old Schofield man.
The driver of the other vehicle was transported to Aspirus Wausau Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Wisconsin State Patrol is investigating the crash. Slippery conditions are believed to be a factor.
Marathon County Sheriff Department, Town of Maine Fire Department, Wausau Fire Department, Wausau Police Department, and Marathon County Highway Department assisted with the crash.
A funeral for all three members of the Kato family will be held Tuesday, Feb. 19, at 7 p.m. at Waid Funeral Home in Merrill. Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home. The family requests memorials be given to establish a trust account for Brooke.