Cause of Death: Struck by Vehicle
Incident Details: Deputy Jason Zunker died of injuries he sustained the previous day when he was struck by a vehicl
He responded to a truck fire just south of Bloomer in western Wisconsin, about 100 miles east of Minneapolis. He was directing traffic when he was hit by a southbound vehicle.
Deputy Zunker was taken by helicopter to a hospital in Eau Claire, where he died the next day from his injuries.
Additional Information: The deputy had served with the Chippewa County Sheriff's Department for four years, and is survived by his wife.
End of Watch: Saturday, January 5, 2008
Wisc. deputy succumbs to injuries after being struck by car
The Associated Press
BLOOMER, WIS. - A deputy from Wisconsin's Chippewa County died Saturday of injuries he suffered when he was hit by a car at the scene of a semitrailer truck fire on Friday night.
Jason Zunker, 31, died of head trauma at Luther Hospital in Eau Claire, Wis., Sheriff James Kowalcyzk confirmed at a news conference Saturday.
"We're devastated," the sheriff said. "There's not enough words I can say to the Zunker family and the deputies that worked hand-in-hand, side-by-side with him. It's a loss that can never be replaced."
Zunker had been directing traffic for about six minutes about 9:44 p.m. Friday when he was hit by a car at the scene of the truck fire on Hwy. 53. The crash happened just south of Bloomer, in western Wisconsin, about 100 miles east of Minneapolis.
He was first taken to a hospital in Bloomer and then airlifted to the hospital in Eau Claire.
The Wisconsin State Patrol said that a Chippewa Falls woman was the driver of the car that hit Zunker and that she has been cooperating. They are investigating the crash, which happened in the town of Woodmohr.
Authorities shut down southbound Hwy. 53 for about 90 minutes Friday night while they dealt with the burning truck. It belonged to Wal-Mart.
Zunker started as a reserve officer in July 2003 and became a deputy sheriff in March 2004. He lived in rural Augusta, Wis., with his wife.