An Eau Claire County Sheriff's deputy lost his life while doing his job Thursday. 62 year old Special Deputy Stephen Hahn was killed in a crash on I-94 near Black River Falls. Now Hahn's family, friends and colleagues are remembering the man who gave decades of his life to public service. He's the first deputy Eau Claire County has ever lost.
Sheriff's department deputies are trained to notify the loved ones of crash victims, they're not used to being on the receiving end.
Sheriff Ron Kramer, Hahn's boss, said, "our captain from the jail called us and said there had been an accident and it didn't look good."
Special Deputy Stephen Hahn was driving a van to Jackson County to pick up an inmate but a driver in the westbound lane lost control, spun into his eastbound lane and hit the van. Then the state patrol says a semi hit the van.
Kramer says Hahn was taken to a hospital in Black River Falls, then to Sacred Heart where he died.
"This has hit pretty hard but in Steve's memory try to remember the good times and dedication all law enforcement gives us," Kramer said.
Hahn started his law enforcement career in animal control with the Eau Claire Police Department. Through his 30 plus years with the P.D. he moved up to captain, retiring in 1997.
"He'll be missed," says Chief Jerry Matysik. He remembers Hahn as a family man who loved his job.
Undersheriff Kenneth Berg says Hahn, who worked as a deputy for nine years, brightened the room, "he was part of our family and he'll be missed." Kramer adds, "he gave his life doing what he enjoyed doin'."
The deputy riding with Hahn was also hurt, he had stiches but is okay. Funeral arrangements are not set yet. Hahn leaves behind his wife, Kathy, two children and three grandchildren. The couple has twin grandchildren on the way.