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Prescott businesswoman dies in motorcycle crash

Members of the Prescott community are mourning the loss of a loving mother, vibrant friend and motivated business owner killed in a motorcycle crash early Saturday morning just south of Hudson.

Prescott resident Brooke Amber Ptacek-Baker, 38, was the owner of Affordable Elegance Party & Event Rental and BB Make-up in Hastings.

She is survived by her two sons, 5-year-old Mason and 4-year-old Jaxon, as well as her parents Joe and Robyn Ptacek, sister Brandy Eastman, and many other family and friends.

Facebook posts from numerous friends echo disbelief, sadness and remembrances of a woman who had a zest for life and contagious enthusiasm.

“She was just one of the kindest, (most) gentle loving, caring (people) I've ever known and would do anything for anybody,” said one friend, who wished to comment but not use her name. “Just an amazing, beautiful person inside and out. She is going to be missed by so many of us.”

According to her obituary, Ptacek-Baker loved spending time with her sons, teaching them how to fish, going up north, going out with friends, eating out, dressing up, going to the beach and traveling.

A memorial fund has been established at Vermillion State Bank in Hastings.

A visitation will take place from 3-7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 29 at the Prescott United Church of Christ, with a memorial service at 7 p.m.

The crash

Alcohol is believed to be a factor in the motorcycle crash that killed Ptacek-Baker. St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Scott Knudson said a preliminary breath test taken of the driver, Joshua D. Sykora, revealed a 0.86 blood-alcohol level.

Reports were sent Monday to the St. Croix County District Attorney’s Office for possible charges, Knudson said.

St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to County Road F near Riverview Drive in the town of Troy at about 4:02 a.m. Saturday, June 25.

Sykora, a 34-year-old Hastings man, was found lying in the median. Ptacek-Baker was found in the west ditch along with a 2005 Harley Davidson. She was pronounced dead at the scene by the St. Croix County medical examiner.

Preliminary investigation indicates Sykora was operating the Harley southbound on County Road F, when it left the roadway, entered the ditch and overturned. Ptacek-Baker was a passenger.

Neither Sykora nor Ptacek-Baker were wearing helmets at the time of the crash.

Sykora was taken to Hudson Hospital and later transferred to Regions Hospital in St. Paul with non-life threatening injuries.

Knudson said a preliminary investigation revealed Sykora and Ptacek-Baker had been at bars in downtown Hudson the night of the crash.

This was the fourth traffic fatality in St. Croix County in 2016. Hudson Fire & EMS and Hudson Police assisted at the scene.

The crash remains under investigation by the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office and Medical Examiner’s Office.

RiverTown Multimedia regional reporter Mike Longaecker contributed to this report

Sarah Nigbor

Sarah J. Nigbor serves as a regional editor for RiverTown Multimedia, a position she began in April 2017. She joined RiverTown Multimedia in October 2013 as a news reporter for the New Richmond News, before being appointed editor of the Pierce County Herald in February 2015. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Spanish and French in 2001. She completed a minor in journalism in 2004. 

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