Alcohol and icy road conditions were listed as “contributing factors” in a crash that resulted in fatal injuries to a 21-year-old man from southeastern Wisconsin in the predawn hours of Thanksgiving Day 2019, according to the Barron County Sheriff’s Department.
Obituary information said that funeral services are Saturday, Dec. 7, for Eau Claire native Cole L. Schiebel, of Kewaskum, who suffered fatal injuries when his pickup truck overturned along Hwy. 48, east of Cumberland, in the early morning hours of Thursday, Nov. 28.
The crash was just one of dozens of accidents in the county that took place in the wake of two, separate storms that dropped an estimated foot of snow on most of the county between Tuesday night, Nov. 26, and Sunday afternoon, Dec. 1. According to dispatch logs, at least two of those accidents resulted in injuries requiring transport by ambulance, helicopter or both.
A press release issued by the sheriff's department said Schiebel was extricated from the pickup after authorities were notified of the crash at 12:14 a.m. on Nov. 28.
Fitzgerald said Schiebel was taken to Cumberland Hospital, where lifesaving measures were unable to save him.
"As we start the month of December, I want to remind everyone that drinking and driving doesn't mix with the safety of our roads," Fitzgerald said in a note accompanying the press release. "Drinking and driving is 100 percent preventable. We don't want to have to do another death notification ever, but especially over the holidays," he said.
Obituary information from Washington County said Schiebel was born Aug. 26, 1998, in Eau Claire.
A U.S. Army veteran, “Cole enjoyed hunting, trap shooting, fishing, camping and being together with friends and family,” the obituary said. He was described as “a son, brother, grandson, uncle, friend, hunter, soldier, overcomer, hero, soul mate and protector. He died with nothing as he gave us all he had.”
After the fatal accident east of Cumberland, emergency responders had their hands full with a spate of Thanksgiving Day crashes, according to Barron County Dispatch logs.
Most of the incidents involved spinouts and vehicles stuck in roadside ditches, but there were two serious crashes that took place late Thursday afternoon in the 200 block of Hwy. 48, about three miles west of Cumberland, and on Thursday morning in the 2500 block of CTH V, five miles northwest of Rice Lake.