Four persons were injured, two of them severely, in a two-vehicle head-on crash on U.S. Hwy. 63 near the Namekagon River bridge 5.5 miles north of Hayward at Sunday, Nov. 22. At the time, the road was slick due to recent snow and freezing rain.
The Sawyer County Sheriff’s Dispatch Center received a 911 call of the crash on Hwy. 63 at the intersection of Old 63 in the town of Lenroot at 12:01 p.m.. Sawyer County deputies responded and were assisted by Sawyer County EMS and the City and Town of Hayward fire departments.
Upon arrival, deputies observed a 213 Ford Flex SUV, operated by Ronald A. Heutmaker, 47, of Baldwin on the northbound shoulder of the road against a guard rail with severe front end damage. The second vehicle involved, a 2005 Silverado pickup operated by Karl F. Kruschke, 57, of Osceola, was also in the northbound lane, with severe front and rear damage.
Preliminary investigation indicates that the Chevrolet pickup truck was southbound on U.S. Hwy. 63 when it encountered ice on the roadway, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle. The truck then crossed the centerline into the northbound lane, striking the Ford SUV head-on.
The drivers of both vehicles sustained severe injuries and were transported by Sawyer County ambulance to a local hospital for medical treatment. Two juvenile passengers in the Ford SUV were injured and were transported for medical treatment. The extent of their injuries is unknown at this time.
The crash remains under investigation by the Sawyer County Sheriff’s Office.