Traffic stop leads to tussle, chase, ends in deadly crash in western Wisconsin

A traffic stop with a suspected impaired driver led to a tussle with a deputy and brief police chase before ending in a deadly crash, according to the Barron County Sheriff's Department.

Friday at 12:14 a.m., a Barron County deputy stopped a vehicle for speeding on Highway O near Highway 8. Believing the driver may have been intoxicated, the deputy asked the driver to step out of the vehicle to conduct field sobriety tests. 

As they were walking, the driver told the officer he needed to get something out of his car, which the deputy told him he could not do. However, the driver kept walking back to the car. The deputy grabbed him, leading to a short struggle. 

The driver got free and reached into the car door. In response, the deputy drew his weapon, took cover and ordered the driver to get out of the car. Both the driver and passenger refused to get out of the vehicle. Eventually, the driver started the car and took off.

The deputy chased the vehicle on 18th Street for about seven miles before losing sight of the vehicle.

Later, deputies in the area found the vehicle had hit a tree in a field driveway. The passenger of the vehicle died at the scene.

The driver received treatment for minor injuries at Barron Hospital. Deputies arrested him on suspicion of a sixth offense of driving while intoxicated, homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle and fleeing an officer. 

The driver is in custody at the Barron County Jail.

Wisconsin State Patrol is conducting a crash reconstruction. The case remains under investigation.