Columbia County deputy airlifted after crashing cruiser into tree

September 13, 2016 GMT

LODI -- A Columbia County sheriff’s deputy remained hospitalized Monday after his squad car crashed into a tree Friday night, while the deputy was responding to a call near Lodi.

The deputy, identified as Brad Graf, was transported from the scene by University of Wisconsin Med Flight with what were then characterized as potentially life-threatening injuries, according to a report from the Wisconsin State Patrol.

Columbia County Chief Deputy Darrel Kuhl told the County Board’s Public Safety Committee on Monday that Graf is recovering from his injuries at UW Hospital in Madison.

Recon, the German shepherd K-9 officer with whom Graf works, escaped serious injury. According to Kuhl, the dog was riding in a kennel inside the squad vehicle.

According to a report from the Wisconsin State Patrol -- the agency that is handling the crash investigation -- the crash occurred at about 9 p.m. Friday on Highway 60 near McGowan Road at Smokey Hollow Road.

The report said the deputy was responding to a call for assistance at a domestic disturbance involving a juvenile and his parents.

The squad car was traveling on McGowan Road when it approached a T intersection with Smokey Hollow Road. The vehicle traveled through the intersection and into a private driveway, then hit a tree on the front passenger side.

The Wisconsin State Patrol report said it took “an extensive effort” to extricate the deputy from the vehicle.

Med Flight took the injured deputy to UW Hospital.

Officials of the DeForest Post of the Wisconsin State Patrol are continuing their investigation.

Other agencies that assisted at the scene include the Lodi Police Department, Lodi Fire Department, the Arlington Fire Department and the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.