Fatal crash victims’ name released

Brandon Michael Wharton

Burnett County authorities have released the name of the person who perished in a Dec. 27 crash in the Town of Sand Lake. 

Brandon Michael Wharton, 32, from Edina, Minn. was the driver of a Honda Civic that was struck in a late morning, two-car, head-on crash on State Highway 70 in the Town of Sand Lake.  

According to the Burnett County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO), it appears that a Chrysler Town and Country minivan was traveling westbound and crossed the highway centerline, colliding head-on with the Honda Civic that Wharton was driving, traveling east. Mr. Wharton was trapped in the vehicle and extrication was needed. 

In total, there were five people injured in the crash, which required three helicopters to transport patients, as well as several ground ambulances.  

The Sheriff’s Office was later notified that the driver of the Honda Civic, Wharton, had passed away from injuries sustained in the crash. 

Early investigation suggests that weather and adverse road conditions were a factor in causing the crash. The other names of the parties involved are currently being withheld. 

Agencies involved in the incident response included the BCSO, North Ambulance, North Air Care, Lifelink Air Care, Siren Fire Department, Webster Fire Department, St. Croix Hertel Fire Department, Burnett County Highway Department and St. Croix Tribal Police Department.

Services for Brandon Wharton will be this coming Sunday and Monday in the Twin Cities. 

He leaves behind a wife, Vanessa, and many family members.    

- With information from the BCSO and Washburn-McReavy Funeral Home