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Driver struggles with deputy during traffic stop, flees and crashes, killing passenger

The deputy drew their weapon at one point during the incident.

A driver suspected of being drunk struggled with a Wisconsin sheriff's deputy during a traffic stop, before fleeing and crashing into a tree, killing his passenger. 

According to the Barron County Sheriff's Office, a deputy at 12:14 a.m. on Friday stopped a vehicle for speeding on Highway O near Highway 8, just east of Barron. 

The deputy believed the driver was under the influence of alcohol, so they asked the driver to get out of the car. He complied, but before the deputy could conduct a field sobriety test, he went back to the car to get something despite orders not to.

"The deputy grabbed the driver and a short struggled ensued with the driver. The driver pulled away from the deputy and reached in the door of the car," the sheriff's office said. "The deputy drew his weapon and got to cover and ordered the driver back out of the car. The driver and passenger both refused."

The driver then started the car and fled, prompting a "short chase" southbound on 18th Street, which lasted seven miles. That's when the deputy lost sight of the vehicle and stopped pursuing. 

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Not long after, deputies located the driver's vehicle. It had struck a tree and the passenger inside was dead. 

The driver was taken to the hospital with minor injuries and was then arrested on suspicion of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated-sixth offense; homicide causing death by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle; and fleeing an officer. 

He is being held at the Barron County Jail awaiting formal charges. 

Note: The details provided in this story are based on the law enforcement's latest version of events, and may be subject to change.

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