ELLSWORTH, Wisc. – A 20-year-old Ellsworth man died from severe injuries Sunday after being thrown from a car by a driver suspected to be under the influence, according to police.
Ellsworth police were dispatched to Kruger Lane and Anika Court in a residential area Saturday at about 2:45 a.m., and in the roadway they found Nicholas Rhiel lying unconscious. While Rhiel was flown to Regions Hospital, Ellsworth police officers searched for the driver who took off, leaving Rhiel behind in the road with severe injuries.
"It was determined the subject was a passenger in the vehicle and the driver had been located and ultimately arrested," said Police Chief Eric Ladwig.
Rhiel's father, Bob Rhiel, tells KARE 11 his son Nick was an avid hunter pursuing a college degree in criminal justice, following in the footsteps of many family members. He added his son loved being with his friend and spent the summers landscaping. A moment of silence was held for Rhiel at the Pierce County Fair Demolition Derby, where Rhiel helped with the pit crew.
Rhiel died Sunday at Regions Hospital. The driver remains at Pierce County Jail awaiting charges related to driving under the influence and causing injury.
Ladwig said case is under investigation and the Pierce County Attorney's Office could bring more charges against the driver following Rhiel's death.