MINONG -- On Sunday, New Years Eve, Washburn County Sheriff's Dispatch received a call, approx 3 PM, from a passerby of a crash on Co. I near Gilmore Dr., Minong Township. It was reported, initially, that a truck, a 2015 Chevrolet Silverado was in the ditch but the driver and dog were not injured. On the second call to dispatch it was reported that all airbags had been deployed, dispatch then paged out Minong Ambulance and Fire to check on the driver, the lone occupant. The Deputy was still about 15 minutes out from the crash when Minong Medical personnel advised the deputy that the driver refused to get out of the vehicle. The deputy told the Minong Emergency crew that the subject could stay in the vehicle.
Once on scene, the medical personnel told the deputy that the driver appeared to be 60 or 70 years old and is bleeding from the ears. The deputy approached the vehicle and talked to the driver through the broken rear passenger window. The vehicle was wedged into the trees making door access very difficult. All efforts to convince the driver to exit the vehicle failed. As the deputy and EMS staff were attempting to position themselves to remove the driver they heard a "pop" and the deputy new right away the "popping" sound was from small caliber handgun.
Once the handgun was secured EMS staff broke the driver's window and the driver, still alive, was removed and transported to the Spooner Hospital were he died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. The dog was taken to the Humane Society in Spooner.
The victim was 64 years old and from Woodruff WI. The family has been notified and our thoughts are with the family during this very difficult time.