A 46-year-old Dallas man was pronounced dead at the scene of a two-vehicle collision at the corner of County Hwy. I and 22 ¾ Street on the outskirts of Chetek early Monday afternoon, Jan. 13, 2020, the Wisconsin State Patrol said in a Jan. 13 press release.
According to Sgt. D.L. Haigh, Northwest Region supervisor for the State Patrol at Spooner, the victim was identified as Robert J. Warnecke, of Dallas, whom Haigh identified as a passenger in a Ford Escape sport utility vehicle driven by Edward Joseph Wakefield, 53, of Dallas.
The investigation shows that shortly before 1 p.m. Jan. 13, the Escape was going west on County Hwy. I when it struck the rear of an eastbound 2015 Freightliner semi-trailer truck driven by Shawn Charles Robbins, 42, of Rice Lake. At the time, Robbins was in the process of turning north onto 22 ¾ Street.
Warnecke, who was a passenger in the front seat of the Escape, sustained fatal injuries in the crash, according to Haigh.
Wakefield was transported by Lifelink 3 helicopter to Mayo Clinic Health System-Eau Claire for treatment of his injuries, but was later released. He underwent a consensual blood draw for chemical testing to rule out impairment, Haigh said.
A second passenger in the Wakefield vehicle, Ashley L. Halpin, 33, of Chippewa Falls, was transported to Mayo Clinic Health System-Northland, Barron, for treatment of what were described as non life-threatening injuries.
Robbins was uninjured, the State Patrol reported.
Assisting at the scene were the Barron County Sheriff’s Department, the Chetek Police and Fire departments, Chetek Ambulance, Mayo Clinic Ambulance, Barron, and the Lifelink Medical helicopter.
The accident remains under investigation by the State Patrol.