BURNETT COUNTY -- Burnett County authorities have issued the following updated press release to yesterday's original presser regarding the death of 27-year-old Preston Decorah.

Updated Press Release

On Monday, March 30, 2020, at approximately 9:15 a.m., the Burnett County Communications Center received a 911 call reporting that Preston Decorah, 27 years old, was lying in a driveway in the Hertel area. The caller was unable to wake him.

North Ambulance and St. Croix Hertel First Responders arrived and transported Mr. Decorah to Spooner Hospital. From there, Decorah was airlifted to Regions Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.  

Information gathered through a joint investigation with St. Croix Tribal Police, Wisconsin State Patrol, Burnett County Medical Examiner’s Office and the Burnett County Sheriff’s Office revealed that Preston Decorah had fallen onto the roadway while riding on top of a moving vehicle.

Mr. Decorah was left on the roadway for approximately an hour and then moved to the reporting party’s driveway where he was ultimately found, hours later, and transported to the hospital.  

Tara Appleton, age 31, was identified as the operator of the vehicle and was arrested Monday at 11:45 a.m. for Causing Death by Intoxicated Use of a Motor Vehicle and Reckless Homicide.

Initial Autopsy results revealed that Mr. Decorah died from head injuries consistent with a fall from a moving vehicle.  

This case remains under investigation.   

Per Tracy Finch, Burnett County Sheriff


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