UPDATE: Alcohol likely factor in fatal wrong-way crash - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UPDATE: Alcohol likely factor in fatal wrong-way crash

Posted:

Bloomer (WQOW) - Investigators believe alcohol was a factor in a wrong-way crash that killed a man near Bloomer.

Chippewa County Sheriffs officials say Aaron Nickels of Shell Lake had been at a bachelor party Saturday and Saturday night.

Investigators say around 4 a.m. Sunday he was driving south in the northbound lanes of Highway 53 when he collided with a pickup truck head-on. Nickels died at the scene. The other driver was treated for his injuries and released.

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Information from the Chippewa County Sheriff's Office:

On Sunday at approximately 3:45 a.m., Chippewa County Sheriff's Dispatch was notified by Barron County Dispatch of a vehicle traveling the wrong way going south in the northbound lanes of US 53 south of the Chetek area.

A Bloomer officer began to check the area of US 53 traveling north from the city where he located a head-on collision between two vehicles in the northbound lanes of travel just south of STH 64.

Both northbound lanes of US 53 were blocked with the severely damage vehicles.

The driver and only occupant of the vehicle (Ford Ranger Pickup) traveling the wrong way was ejected from his vehicle and pinned underneath it. He is identified as Aaron Nickels, age 26 of Shell Lake, WI. He was pronounced dead at the scene by the Chippewa County Coroner.

The operator of the northbound pickup truck, (Full-size Ford) pulling a boat was trapped in his vehicle and extricated by Bloomer Fire and EMS. He is identified as William Zutter age 60 of rural Elk Mound. Zutter was transported by Bloomer EMS and Chippewa Falls City Fire Paramedics to Mayo Hospital Eau Claire. Zutter has since been treated and released from Mayo at the time of this press release.

Zutter's dog suffered minor injuries and was transported by a Bloomer Fire Fighter to the Chippewa Vet Clinic for observation.

Both northbound lanes of traffic of US 53 were closed and traffic detoured from approximately 2 hours.

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