A 16-year-old Sand Creek boy killed in a May 11 truck crash in Dunn County had many connections to the Barron area, according to local sources and obituary information.
Braden Lemler was pronounced dead at the scene of a one-vehicle rollover on Friday afternoon, May 11, 2018, according to information released by the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department.
Lemler was a sophomore at Colfax High School.
The accident prompted an outpouring of support from the Colfax area and residents of southern Barron County. Both Lemler and his mother, Kaylee, were active in the Barron Country Siders 4-H Club, which serves the southeastern portion of the county.
Lemler worked at Grazin’ Acres farm, Hillsdale.
Grazin’ Acres owner Kevin Roske, interviewed via his cell phone from the cab of his tractor on Tuesday, May 15, said Lemler worked at the farm “for about the last three-four years. He was a great kid – always had a smile on his face. No matter what job you gave him to do, he did it with a smile.”
The Lemler and Roske families got acquainted through 4-H, Roske added.
“We are good friends with his grandpa and grandma (Jerry and Melanie Donath),” he said. “He had been coming here three or four years, and worked mostly on weekends. His mom and dad would drop him off here. If they were busy, (Braden) ended up staying here on weekends.”
On Monday, May 14, Colfax High School students and other community members staged a “drive-your-tractor-to-school” tribute to Lemler. A large number of vehicles circled the school parking lot. On display near the school entrance was an antique Farmall tractor that Lemler and one of his grandfathers had helped to restore.
A memorial service is set for 4 p.m. today, May 16, 2018, at Colfax High School.
A complete obituary can be found elsewhere in today’s News-Shield
The Sheriff’s Department investigation noted that Lemler, who had gotten a driver’s license within the past few weeks, was alone in a 2000 GMC Sonoma pickup truck and was going north on County Hwy. M, near the 1130th Avenue intersection, when the accident took place.
The pickup went onto the shoulder, over-corrected and rolled multiple times. Lemler, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene by the Dunn County Medical Examiner’s office.
Responding to the scene were Dunn County Sheriff’s deputies, along with the Wisconsin State Patrol, Colfax and Sand Creek fire departments, Colfax Rescue and Dunn County First Responders.
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