Sheriff’s Department recommending charges for parents of Taylor County toddler killed by train

Published: Jul. 14, 2021 at 10:32 AM CDT
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LUBLIN, Wis. (WSAW) - The parents of the 2-year-old boy struck and killed by a train on June 29 in Taylor County will likely face criminal charges.

Taylor County Sheriff Larry Woebbeking said at the time of the fatal accident, the train was traveling south and blowing its horn numerous times as it approached the village. The 2-year-old child was running on the outer edge of the railroad ties. The train conductor noticed the child before impact and attempted to stop the train but was unable to avoid striking the boy.

Woebbeking said the toddler was alone leading up to the fatal accident and not under any supervision. The child was seen alone walking down the street in only a diaper.

The boy’s parents were identified as Kyle Bratland, 26, and Natasha Bratland, 31.

Investigators said the couple’s children were commonly seen without adult supervision and playing in areas that were unsafe. Area residents informed a detective that the children were commonly seen in the village playing in the streets, on the railroad tracks and even on rooftops.

The sheriff’s department is recommending both parents be charged with neglecting a child resulting in death.

According to a news release, the train was operating in a safe and normal condition prior to the accident.

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