'He is forever our angel:' Family thanks Lake Mills fire captain who died helping their daughter

Columbus man arrested

'He is forever our angel:' Family thanks Lake Mills fire captain who died helping their daughter

MONONA, Wis. - A Lake Mills firefighter who stopped to help at the scene of a crash on the Beltline in Monona Monday was struck before officials arrived, according to a news release. 

The Monona Police Department said one vehicle crashed on eastbound Highway 12 at 6:51 p.m. A second car driven by Lake Mills firefighter Chris Truman stopped to assist at the scene of the first crash. Truman was then struck by a third vehicle before officers arrived to help with the initial crash.



Truman suffered serious injuries and was taken to the hospital, where he died shortly after arrival, according to the report.

He was a firefighter in Lake Mills for 13 years. 

A previous employer at Ace Hardware said Truman was "the epitome of helpful and caring, always willing to help his neighbors, no matter the situation."

On Tuesday night, the Lake Mills Fire Department posted the following note from the family of the woman who Truman stopped to help on the Beltline:

“I know that all of you are grieving. I don’t know if this will help but your captain saved my daughter’s life last night. My daughter had lost control of the car and skidded. She got out of her car and was afraid and overwhelmed. He saw her and pulled behind her with his lights on. He came out of his car and told her to get back into her car. He pulled the bumper that was hanging off and then went to her window and told her he would follow her off the Beltline to safety. It was at this point that the driver hit him. My heart is in so much pain for all of you. He is my hero. Please let his wife/family know he is forever our angel. I’m just so very sorry.”

Police said they have arrested Samuel Patrick Cremers, 28, of Columbus on suspicion of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle.

The Wisconsin State Patrol was called to assist with the crash reconstruction, police said. The Monona Fire Department and the McFarland Police Department helped while a stretch of the eastbound Beltline, a major thoroughfare, was closed for several hours.

The Beltline was reopened at 10:15 p.m., police said. 

Area roads were slick Monday evening as rain, sleet and snow fell during the day, and a storm brought several inches of accumulated snow into the area. Police didn't say if the weather was a factor in the initial collision. 

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