Official: High speed a factor in crash that killed Wisconsin trooper
Governor says trooper was 'outstanding'
LAKE DELTON, Wis. — A Wisconsin State Patrol trooper was killed Tuesday morning in a rollover wreck on Interstate 90, officials said.
Gov. Scott Walker said in a news release that 34-year-old Anthony J. Borostowski, of Tomah, died in the line of duty when his patrol car struck a tree along Interstate 90-94 Tuesday. He was killed instantly, officials said.
The Sauk County Sheriff’s Office said first responders were sent to the crash site on east I-90 about 4:30 a.m. near mile marker 89.
At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Sheriff Chip Meister said that before the crash, Borostowski had been parked in the median near mile marker 89 in a marked 2009 Crown Victoria patrol car. He pulled out of the median onto east I-90/94 and about 1 mile later, he lost control of the car. The car entered the south ditch and struck a tree.
Officials are investigating whether Borostowski was attempting to catch up to a violator, and what caused him to lose control of the squad car. Meister said high speed was a factor in the wreck, but because of the time of day they aren’t sure if weather played a role in the crash.
“We know the road temperature three hours after the accident was 31 degrees and the air temperature was 37, so all those factors are taken into consideration in that investigation,” Meister said.
The sheriff’s office said a witness told officials that the squad car didn’t have any of its emergency lights activated at the time of the crash. Anyone who saw the crash is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 800-377-1195.
Borostowski given lifesaving award in 2015
In a statement, Walker said Borostowski was “an outstanding trooper” who was a staff sergeant in the Wisconsin National Guard.
“Anytime we lose a man or woman in uniform, in this case doubly significant in that he not only worked for the Wisconsin State Patrol but the Wisconsin National Guard, someone who served both his community, his state and his country, and obviously it’s a huge loss for all of us across the state,” Walker said.
Walker said he met Borostowski in 2015 when the trooper received state patrol’s lifesaving award for saving a man’s life by performing CPR.
All lanes for a 5-mile stretch of the eastbound interstate were closed for more than four hours Tuesday morning. The road was reopened shortly before 9 a.m.
The crash is under investigation by the Sauk County Sheriff’s Office.
Walker ordered U.S. and Wisconsin flags flown at half-staff Tuesday in honor of Borostowski.
Family members and neighbors react
Borostowski’s aunt, Mary Inhoff, said his calling in life has always been serving others.
“He wanted to serve his country,” Inhoff said. “He just liked protecting, that was his big thing.”
Even when he was young, Inhoff said his instinct was to help out.
“He was always there for you if you needed him,” she said. “He was just a very nice person.”
Neighbors described Borostowski as a kind, friendly man.
“(He was) very polite, very nice,” said Melissa Thompson, who lived across the street from the fallen trooper’s Tomah duplex. “My kids loved to wave to him and say ‘Hi’ and they’d kind of initiate a conversation back and forth.”
Thompson said the news shocked her and her family.
“We were really upset, just because you kind of get to know your neighbors and it was just kind of sad to know that somebody who protects us on a daily basis is no longer with us,” she said.
Other neighbors echoed Thompson’s sentiments, saying that while they didn’t get to know Borostowski that well due to his busy night-shift schedule, he was always friendly when they interacted.
Borostowski’s military service
Borostowski enlisted in the Wisconsin Army National Guard May 21, 2004, officials said. He deployed as a combat medic to Kuwait in 2005, and to Iraq as a trauma specialist in 2009. He deployed again in 2012 as a combat medic to Afghanistan.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Staff Sgt. Anthony Borostowski,” said Maj. Gen. Don Dunbar, the adjutant general of Wisconsin. “He embodied the spirit of the Citizen Soldier as he served his state and nation with honor as a Wisconsin State Patrol Trooper, and a member of the Wisconsin Army National Guard. We join the rest of Wisconsin in mourning his loss.”
Borostowski’s numerous military awards include the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal (2nd award), the Iraqi Campaign Medal, The Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Combat Action Badge, the Humanitarian Service Medal and the Drill Sergeant’s Badge, according to the release.
UWPD honors Trooper Borostowski
Police from all agencies came together Tuesday to remember Trooper Borostowski.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison Police Department shared pictures in Twitter Tuesday afternoon, honoring Borostowski at UW Hospital.
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