Richland County Sheriff Darrell Berglin is reporting that one of his road patrol deputies, Nicholas E. Stitzer, 36, of rural Blue River (Byrds Creek), was injured in a traffic crash early this morning Thursday, January 27) while responding to a call of a suspected drunk driver and road rage incident.
The sheriff said that Stitzer, a four and a half year veteran of the department, was in Orion Township traveling northbound on Saw Mill Road trying to get to US Hwy 14 to intercept the suspect vehicle at about 12:20am when he lost control of the 2007 Ford Crown Victoria marked squad car he was operating. The vehicle traveled off the roadway on a curve just prior to the Pine River coming to rest in a snow covered farm field.
Berglin said that Stitzer suffered back injuries in the crash and was transported by Richland County Ambulance to the Richland Hospital. The sheriff said that personnel from the Richland Center Police Department and the Richland Center Fire Department assisted he and his deputies at the scene of the accident.
According to Richland County Chief Deputy Tom Hougan, after stabilization at the Richland Hospital, Deputy Stitzer was transported to UW Hospital in Madison for further evaluation.
Hougan said that the squad car Stitzer was operating suffered minor damage and that the Richland Center Police Department is the agency conducting the crash investigation. The matter remains under investigation, he said.