MADISON, Wis. (WMTV)--- Authorities have identified a driver and passenger killed in crash near Portage on Monday morning.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) has identified the driver as 24-year-old Ter-Rance Phillit Simmons. He was a kidnapping suspect. His passenger was identified as 25-year-old Terrance P. Simmons.
The crash happened on the southbound lanes of I-39/51 around 7:48 a.m.
DOJ said the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, Portage Police Department, and the Wisconsin State Patrol were attempted to find and contact a vehicle believed to be carrying a person suspected in a kidnapping case in central Wisconsin. The suspect – vehicle crashed into the back of a semi-trailer. Ter-Rance and Terrance were pronounced dead at the scene.
According to Everest Metro Police Department Chief Clay Schulz, officers responded just after midnight Sunday to reports of a battery in Schofield.
They learned that one woman was beaten and taken from the scene. Another woman who tried to intervene was also beaten.
Detectives found and interviewed the woman later that day and started looking for the suspect – 24-year-old Simmons.
"We worked well with the coordinating agencies, specifically Division of Criminal Investigation through the DOJ, coordinating our efforts really at a statewide level, looking for this person who we knew was armed with a loaded handgun and obviously dangerous after this significant incident that happened here locally," said Schulz.
The Everest Metro Police Department is still investigating the beating and kidnapping case.
Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) is continuing to collect evidence and determine the facts of this crash. DCI will turn over investigative reports to the Columbia County District Attorney's Office when the investigation concludes.