ELK MOUND — An Elk Mound man was involved in a head-on collision on U.S. Highway 53 near Bloomer that killed a Shell Lake man going the wrong way.
William Zutter, 60, of rural Elk Mound, was trapped in his full-sized Ford pickup truck that was towing a boat at around 4 a.m. Sunday, July 28, following a head-on collision with a vehicle driven by Aaron Nickels, 26, of Shell Lake.
According to a news release from the Chippewa County Sheriff’s Department, dispatch was notified at 3:45 a.m. by Barron County dispatch of a vehicle traveling the wrong way going south in the northbound lanes of U.S. 53 south of the Chetek area.
A Bloomer officer began to check the area of US 53, travelling north from the city where he located a head-on collision between two vehicles in the northbound lanes of travel just south of state Highway 64.
Both northbound lanes of US 53 were blocked with the severely damage vehicles.
Nickels, the driver and only occupant of the Ford Ranger pickup truck traveling the wrong way, was ejected from his vehicle and pinned underneath it. He was pronounced dead at the scene by the Chippewa County Coroner.
Zutter, the operator of the northbound full-sized Ford pickup truck that was pulling a boat, was trapped in his vehicle and extricated by Bloomer Fire and EMS.
Zutter was transported by Bloomer EMS and Chippewa Falls City Fire Paramedics to Mayo Hospital Eau Claire. He has since been treated and released from Mayo at the time of the news release.
Zutter’s dog suffered minor injuries and was transported by a Bloomer firefighter to the Chippewa Vet Clinic for observation.
Both northbound lanes of traffic of US 53 were closed and traffic was detoured for approximately two hours.