A vehicle driven by a Frederic, Wisconsin man was involved in a dramatic and nearly fatal car accident in Polk County. Police jailed the 29-year-old driver under suspicion of intoxication when the Ford he was driving was sliced in half by a van in Garfield, about 200 miles northwest of Milwaukee. The passenger in the 1998 Ford, a 20-year-old Amery woman, was critically injured in the motor vehicle accident.

Polk County sheriff’s deputies report the 29-year-old’s car was traveling southbound along Wisconsin 65 at about 6:30 a.m. on a weekday morning. The car driver allegedly attempted to turn left at 90th Avenue, pulling out in front of a 2003 Chevrolet Express van.

Police say the van’s impact split the Ford coupe in half. The van driver, a 54-year-old Amery man, escaped the collision without injury. The driver of the Ford was treated for minor injuries.

The young woman passenger in the Ford sustained face and head injuries and was transported by ambulance to Amery Hospital. The female accident victim was later flown to Regions Hospital in St. Paul, where she is listed in critical condition.

During an interview with Polk County authorities, the driver of the Ford denied the use of intoxicants. Officials say that evidence at the accident scene made them believe otherwise.

The Frederic man was taken into custody on suspicion of operating while intoxicated. He is being held for suspected marijuana and methamphetamine possession. Officials ordered the suspect to undergo a drug and alcohol blood test.

No official charges have been filed against the Frederic man. He remains in jail as Polk County police continue the accident investigation.

Source: twincities.com, “Amery woman in critical condition after crash slices vehicle in half,” Andy Rathbun, Oct. 14, 2011