Driver, passenger dead in crash on I-39 near Portage

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COLUMBIA COUNTY, Wis. (WMTV) - Two people are dead following a vehicle crash that took place on Interstate 39 near Portage on Monday morning.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) said they are investigating the deaths at the request of the Wisconsin State Patrol. The crash happened on southbound I-39/Highway 51 around 7:48 a.m.

DOJ said the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, Portage Police Department, and the Wisconsin State Patrol were attempting to find and contact a vehicle believed to be carrying a person suspected in a kidnapping attempt in central Wisconsin. The suspect-vehicle crashed into the back of a semi-trailer. The driver and one passenger in the suspect-vehicle were pronounced dead at the scene.

DOJ said the Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) is continuing to collect evidence and determine the facts of this incident. They will turn over investigative reports to the Columbia County District Attorney’s Office when the investigation concludes.

DCI is assisted by the Sauk County Sheriff’s Office. Wisconsin State Patrol, Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, and Portage Police Department have been fully cooperating with DCI during this investigation.