Vernon County Sheriff Roy Torgerson reports a two-vehicle crash occurred Friday afternoon, March 29, 2024, in rural Ontario, WI, in the town of Forest. At approximately 12:45 PM, the Sheriff’s Office 911 Dispatch Center was notified of the crash that occurred on County Road F, near Harris Road. Lucas Paul Downing, age 34, of rural Kendall, WI was operating a 2007 Kia Spectra, traveling east and uphill. Diane Luisa Brewer, age 67, of rural Ontario, WI was driving west and as she crested the hill, she saw the Downing vehicle had crossed the centerline. Attempting to avoid a head-on collision, Brewer steered right. The left, front corner of the Downing vehicle struck and sideswiped the entire left side of the Brewer vehicle. Both frontal airbags in the Downing vehicle deployed while the side
curtain airbag was activated in the Brewer vehicle.
Both Downing and Brewer were extricated from their vehicles by the Hillsboro Fire Department. Both were transported to Gundersen St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hillsboro, by
Hillsboro Ambulance. Brewer was treated and released. Downing was later transferred to the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison, WI.
Brewer’s service dog, Jake, did not appear injured and was returned home, by a volunteer with Ontario Fire & Rescue, where he will be closely monitored.
Assisting the Sheriff’s Office at the scene were Hillsboro Fire Department, Hillsboro Area Ambulance, an ambulance from Ontario Fire & Rescue, Ontario Police Department, and the Wisconsin State Patrol. Gundersen Air II was also dispatched, but re-routed and landed at Gundersen St. Joseph’s Hospital, but the transfer to Madison was by ground transport.
All units had left the crash scene by approximately 3:00 PM.
The investigation continues.