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County deputy hit while setting flares on I-94

A St. Croix County deputy is recovering after being seriously injured when he was struck by another vehicle while assisting at an accident scene on I-94.

The incident occurred at 12:43 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 22, about a mile east of the Hudson bridge.

Sheriff Dennis Hillstead said Tuesday that Deputy Dick Koenig, 39, River Falls, will be off work for another three or four weeks.

The driver of the car that struck the deputy was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated, causing injury; a felony count of second-degree recklessly endangering safety; and possession of a switchblade.

Hillstead said Koenig apparently had no broken bones but did suffer muscle damage and deep bruises to tissue on both his left hip and arm. Koenig's squad car was totaled.

According to the accident report, Koenig was helping direct traffic near Milepost 1 just west of an injury crash involving a semi and an automobile. His squad car, with its emergency lights activated, was parked on I-94 in the eastbound lane.

Hillstead said Koenig was out of his vehicle placing new flares on the highway when he saw a car coming toward him. Koenig tried to quickly move to the shoulder and was struck on his left side and arm.

The vehicle -- a black BMW driven by Seth E. Clayton, 26, 2445 Oak Ridge Circle, Hudson -- struck Koenig and continued on into his squad car, totaling that vehicle.

Koenig's portable radio was smashed in the collision, but he was able to call the county dispatch center to report the accident. The state patrol officer who was clearing the first accident responded, called an ambulance for Koenig and led Clayton through field sobriety tests.

Clayton's breathalyzer test at the scene registered 0.089. A preliminary court date has been postponed.