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Man Almost Killed by Drunk Driver Honors his RescuersSubmitted: 04/26/2013
Story By Kailey Burton


ST. GERMAIN - A drunk driver took nearly everything from Jason Breitenfeld. He's extremely lucky to be alive today. On January 20th he was providing a safe ride home from the bars, when a drunk driver nearly killed him.

"There's no way I should have survived," he said.

That's not an understatement. It took rescue crews an hour and 45 minutes with the jaws of life to free Jason Breitnefeld from this wreck. His leg was almost completely cut off, his hip and ankle shattered, leg bones snapped.

"My hip right now has 13 screws, and 2 metal plates holding it together with the reattachment of my leg and ankle, I have a titanium rod that goes from my knee to the ankle," said Breitenfeld.

Some rescue members didn't think he would survive. Amazingly he has BOTH his legs, but doctors think it'll be at least a year before he can walk on his own. Jason isn't used to sitting idle.

"I was a fulltime college student at North Central Tech college in Wausau, I had 3 part-time jobs... I was a student ambassador, for a while I was student board president," he said.

One man got behind the wheel drunk, and took that all away.

"I'd like to know WHY. Why would you take the chance? They think something like this is never going to happen to them, that they're not going to get into an accident.... A safe ride home, is free."

Jason will see the man who hit him for the first time in court next week. He'll ask him that exact question.

"The individual who hit me, this was his 4th OWI, and second time where he's caused major injury, said Breitenfeld, "I don't think the drinking and driving laws are as strict as they need to be."

"Get a friend, call a cab, do what you need to do, but don't get behind the wheel."

Tomorrow friends are holding a benefit for Jason. It will be an ANTI- drinking and driving event, and they'll be honoring the people who helped save his life.


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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 07/28/2016

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We look into the history of the Eagle River man who was shot and killed by officers outside of Merrill Tuesday morning after he was pulled over in Antigo, shot at a police officer and lead police into a chase that took them to Lincoln County.

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And today was "Miracle Treat Day" at Dairy Queen as the restaurant raises money for the Children's Miracle Network.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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ANTIGO - When you can't catch fish, it's easy to blame the lure. If you need something different, people in Antigo make a lure that you might want to try. The Mepps assembly plant is located right off Highway 45.

Mepps fishing lures were originally made in Paris, France, starting in 1938. Back in the 1970's, a local Antigo sporting goods store owner, Todd Sheldon, decided to buy that facility and moved it to Nice, France. His son, Mike is now the president of the company.

"The guys that own the Mepps company in France were getting old enough to where they wanted to retire so we bought the Mepps company in France in 1972," said Sheldon.

One detail that makes the lure number one in the world is that they use actual animal tail fur.

"The tails are washed, dyed and tied back there," said plant worker Kim Wiegert. "And they're dehydrated. They will store a long time, so they can last 3 to 5 years."

There are many benefits to using real hair as opposed to artificial hair.

"The hair is hollow and goes through a lot of wear and tear," said Wiegert. "Other hairs would disintegrate, and fall apart. With these, it'll last longer, the fish can bite on them and it'll take a long time before they'll actually chew them apart."

Along with the hairs, there is a secret way to put the lures together that makes Mepps the best.

"We have a certain wind that we have and we can tell when we put them together, how it should be. All of our spinners are field tested before they actually go out," said Wiegert.

Even though the company distributes their product around the world, the Sheldon's still enjoy being based in Antigo.

"It's home. I grew up here and my parents grew up here and of course my kids did. And it's such a different pace of life here than the rest of the world," said Sheldon.

Everyone putting the little pieces together are women. Kim is just one who works in the plant that has been there for nearly 40 years. She also gives tours of the facility to the public.

"I like to react with the people when they come in, especially ones that have fishing stories to tell you. It's interesting here and you get to meet other people," said Wiegert.

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ALLOUEZ - A state senator says some radios didn't work at Green Bay's maximum security prison the day a corrections officer was attacked.

State Sen. Dave Hansen, D-Green Bay, is requesting an independent review of problems at the Green Bay Correctional Institution in Allouez.

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MADISON - Wisconsin's top health officials says the state's long-term care programs for the elderly and disabled will be available statewide by early 2018.

The programs Family Care and IRIS, which stands for Include, Respect I Self-Direct, are designed to keep 55,000 elderly and disabled people out of nursing homes by offering care in their own homes. Wisconsin Department of Health Services Interim Secretary Tom Engels announced Thursday the programs would expand to the final seven of Wisconsin's 72 counties.

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RHINELANDER - At 51 years old, Rhinelander's Chris Moore had felt off for months. In May, it got worse. His wife, Sherri, knew something was wrong.

"'Oh, no. We're going to call an ambulance,'" Chris remembered her saying.

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WAUSAU - Wausau opened its doors to new students who traveled 7,000 miles to study away from home. Collaboration between multiple UW system school and the Wausau School District created the Summer International Student Program for Chinese Students.

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RHINELANDER - This year seems to be off to a good start for the housing market here in Wisconsin.

A new report shows the first half of 2016 was the strongest since before the Great Recession of 2008.

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