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Family, investigators seek answers to one-year-old Shawano County pedestrian death, balloon release Saturday


SHAWANO, Wis. (WSAU) -- Family, friends, and law enforcement officials are remembering the anniversary of a fatal incident that happened at the edge of Shawano.  It was a year ago Saturday that 22-year-old Timothy J. Meade of Stephenson, Michigan died in an apparent hit-and-run accident at the edge of the Shawano city limits.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Detective Wade Wudtke says Meade found dead at the edge of the Highway M bridge over Highway 29. He says they don’t know who ran over Meade, and they’re not sure the driver even knew it happened. Wudtke says they just want to find out what really happened.  “We are not really attempting to charge or convict anybody at this point. That is a secondary issue. At this point, we just want to try and get closure and more information and answer some of the questions that the family and we have as far as the incidents that happened out there that night.”

Wudtke says they already know Meade had been drinking that night, and died while returning to a friend’s home.  “He was drinking that night, and he didn’t want to drive, so he was walking back to a friend’s place in the city of Shawano when we believe that he was actually laying down in the roadway when he was struck by a vehicle that was either an SUV truck or larger.”

Investigators are asking anyone with information to come forward. The Shawano County Sheriff’s Department is hosting a press conference at 1:00 p.m. to ask the public to step forward if they know something about Meade's death.   “We want to put a face to the name of Mr. Meade, you know, we want everyone to know who Mr. Meade was so hopefully, someone will feel a little bit more compelled to come forward if they have information which may give us more of a lead to getting some of these answers and some closure for the family.”

Sheriff Randall Wright will speak to the family, friends, and media Saturday at 1:00 p.m. to encourage people that may know something to step forward. The family will then proceed to the bridge for a balloon release in Meade’s honor. Travelers on Highway 29 are likely to see the balloons between 1:30 and 2:00 p.m.

(Listen to our interview with Detective Wade Wudtke on our website.)