A woman driving drunk from one bar to another ran over and killed an off-duty firefighter walking on a snow-blown highway in western Wisconsin, authorities said Monday.
The crash occurred about 2:10 a.m. Sunday on Hwy. 35, southwest of Luck, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
Jeanne S. Fisher, 32, of Frederic, Wis., was driving south on the highway when she hit Chad M. Hansen, 34, of nearby Milltown, who also was heading south “in the traveled portion of the roadway,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
Fisher said she had four drinks at the Bon Ton Saloon in Luck and was driving less than 2 miles to JJ’s Club 35 just north of Milltown, when she hit Hansen, the Sheriff’s Office said.
“She stated that she tried to miss him but couldn’t,” a Sheriff’s Office report read. Sheriff Pete Johnson said the incident occurred in “kind of blizzard conditions.”
A preliminary breath test at the scene measured her blood alcohol content at 0.136 percent, well above the legal limit for driving in Wisconsin.
Fisher was then arrested on suspicion of homicide by intoxicated driver and causing injury by intoxicated operation of a motor vehicle.
Hansen was promoted to Milltown’s deputy chief in January 2013 and had been with the department since 1997, his entire adult life.
“There’s not a dry eye in the village,” said LuAnn White, Milltown’s village president, who said that Hansen also was a public works employee on a street crew for the community of 934. “Chad was a model employee … and a prize fireman.”
Johnson said Hansen was walking home after being out for the evening at the time he was hit.