April had a deadly start in Polk County. In just over 24 hours, two deadly accidents occurred within one mile of each other on State Highway 35 near in Village of Dresser.
The first Wisconsin highway accident happened at 10:37 AM on Highway 35 north of Clark Road. Twenty-six-year-old Devin Curley of Byron, Minnesota was driving a 2004 Freightliner tractor-trailer south on Highway 35 when a 2002 Ford Ranger truck headed north crossed the center line into the path of his semi-truck. Curley was unable to stop his vehicle in time to avoid a crash. The impact knocked both vehicles of the road on opposite sides.
Curley, who was driving for Wholesale Distribution Services of Byron, Minnesota, was not injured by the crash; however, the other driver was pronounced dead at the scene. He was later identified as fifty-five-year-old Jeffrey Chartrand of Lindstrom, Minnesota.
The second fatal accident on Highway 35 occurred at about noon on Tuesday, April 3. A 1998 Suzuki GSX750 motorcycle heading south crossed the centerline as it was negotiating a curb. The motorcycle crashed into a 1997 Chevrolet K1500 pickup truck headed north. The motorcyclist, 26-year-old Ryan Lorentz of Osceola, died at the scene. The driver of the pick-up truck, a 78-year-old man from White Bear Lake, was unharmed.
Lorentz did not have a valid driver's license or motorcycle endorsement. He was not wearing a helmet at the time of the Wisconsin accident.
Both Wisconsin highway accidents are under investigation by the Polk County Sheriff's Office.