The Marathon County Sheriff's Department reported that a drunk driver struck and seriously injured a 39-year-old man on Nov. 7. The accident happened on Highway K around 6 p.m.
Alcohol-related crash injuries in Wisconsin have steadily declined since 1979, but deaths due to drunk-driving accidents have remained relatively stable since 1982, according to statistics. The state saw an all-time high in drunk driving fatalities and injuries in 1979. As laws became stricter and enforcement increased, the overall numbers dropped, but they are still problematic as alcohol is still the largest cause of fatal motor vehicle accidents in the state.
In 2010, a driver with multiple car insurance policies was involved in a drunk driving accident in which the other driver was uninsured. Luckily for the injured driver, he was still able to use a 2009 Wisconsin law, which was repealed in 2011, to his benefit.
While all fatal auto accidents are tragic, they are especially tragic when the driver is drinking and has previous OWI convictions. This was the case in a recent crash that killed an 80-year-old man and injured his 81-year-old female passenger. The driver responsible for that accident was cited for drunk driving for the second time.The accident occurred in Nekimi, a town in Winnebago County, and involved a 57-year-old driver who collided with another vehicle driven by the victim. The victim died and his passenger was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The driver who caused the accident was also treated for minor injuries at a local hospital.
A 30-year-old Milwaukee resident was charged with driving in the wrong direction and causing an auto accident on Interstate 94. According to the complaint, the suspect was driving a car south in the northbound lanes in a portion of the interstate that had been closed to traffic. He collided with the back of an interstate worker's truck. The accident caused injuries to the man as well as two other people: an a passenger in the his vehicle and an interstate worker.Officers arriving on the scene noticed a strong odor of alcohol coming from the man. Despite his initial refusal to submit to a BAC test, the man was transported to a hospital and was held down by a trooper and five security officers to get the blood for the test. The man also claimed that he had not been driving, but both his brother and a witness told the police that he was driving the car.
Three separate auto accidents involving a driver who traveled across two counties in Wisconsin led to injuries for one driver and may have been fueled by drinking. The cross-county odyssey began when a 21-year-old suspected of being under the influence at the time ran a woman off the road in Green County. The mother, who was traveling with her infant, said that the car came toward her suddenly but she was able to swerve off the road and avoid a head-on collision. The driver still sideswiped her but fled the scene. About two hours later, the same driver hit a telephone box in Dane County then hit another car head-on while driving on Highway JG in Perry. Fortunately, there were no serious injuries as a result of that accident. Authorities charged the driver with DUI; she was initially hospitalized for injuries but has since been released. Police are still investigating to determine if she hit anything else during her two-hour drive.
A Wisconsin man driving a pickup truck hit an oncoming motorcycle while attempting to make a left-hand turn into his driveway. The driver of the motorcycle flew more than 6 feet over the hood of the truck. His passenger -- who was his wife -- flew about 60 feet away from the point of the accident. The Wisconsin husband and wife were brought to a nearby hospital where she later died.Police charged the truck driver with drunk driving. He first told police that he had not been drinking alcohol. However, a preliminary blood-alcohol test showed his concentration at 0.13 percent. Then he admitted to have had a few drinks, and blood analysis registered at 0.11 percent. The truck driver told police that he saw the motorcycle's headlights, and he thought that he had enough time to make the turn. He also said, however, that the driver of the motorcycle was speeding. The truck driver pleaded not guilty to charges of homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle and reckless driving causing great bodily harm.