The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

1 killed in Pence ATV crash; Ironwood woman injured in Gurney crash


May 28, 2019


PENCE, Wis. — The driver of an all-terrain vehicle is dead after he crashed his vehicle while riding in the town of Pence early Sunday morning.

Iron County Sheriff’s Department deputies and Beacon Ambulance personnel responded to the scene of the accident at the intersection of Spring Camp Road and Whiteside Street shortly after 12:10 a.m., according to Sheriff Paul Samardich.

Those responding to the scene found the man involved in the single-vehicle crash unresponsive.

Iron County Coroner Diane Simonich pronounced the man dead at the scene, Samardich said in a press release, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources was contacted to assist in the crash investigation.

Samardich later identified the mans as Christopher A. Thomas, 50, of Pence.

Although the DNR is continuing to investigate the crash, Samardich said speed and alcohol are believed to have been factors.

The Montreal Fire Department also responded to the crash scene.

Along with the crash in Pence, Iron County deputies also responded to an accident on a remote section of Lake Superior beach in the town of Gurney this weekend.

Michigan Central Dispatch contacted Iron County 911 about a dropped cell call at approximately 4:12 p.m. Saturday with GPS coordinates tied to a location near Birch Hill and Graveyard Creek in Gurney.

Iron County 911 received a second call reporting an ATV crash in the area, with initial reports indicating a 20-year-old woman was unresponsive after sustaining head trauma.

According to Samardich, a UTV operated by a man, 34, ran over the Ironwood woman while she was sitting on the beach.

Iron County’s recreational officer, Saxon First Responders, Beacon Ambulance, Hurley Fire and Rescue and the DNR responded to the scene, where rescue personnel stabilized the woman so she could be transported to the ambulance that was several miles away.

Aspirus Medivac later transported the woman to a hospital facility in North Central Wisconsin, Samardich said.

The Kimball Fire Department assisted with securing the landing zone for the medivac helicopter.

The DNR continues to investigate the incident.


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