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Three Wisconsin families say GM ignition switch problem caused fatal crash

UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News)  Families of three Wisconsin victims in a 2006 traffic crash linked to General Motors' faulty ignition switches have yet to decide whether to take a company settlement. Ken Rimer says the families will meet with their lawyer tomorrow after G-M announced a compensation fund yesterday.

18-year-old Natasha Weigel and 15-year-old Amy Rademacher were killed when their car stalled, veered off a road, and slammed into trees in rural Saint Croix County in far western Wisconsin. The driver, 17-year-old Megan Phillips, suffered brain damage. G-M has admitted that one of the girls died directly from the ignition problem, because an air bag in front of her had not deployed.

Yesterday G-M said all passengers in such crashes would be eligible for compensation, after refusing to compensate back seat riders previously.

The three Wisconsin families have a lawsuit pending. Rimer says he'll need to know more before deciding whether to drop the suit and accept G-M's compensation. Amounts have not been disclosed, but company settlement administrator Kenneth Feinberg said families would know the offers before having to decide whether to take them.

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