Nicolet Law Office, S.C.

Wisconsin car accident ends in vehicular homicide charges

A Wisconsin woman is facing vehicular homicide charges in Pierce County in connection with an accident that occurred last October. The charges stem from the death of a motorcycle rider that was killed as the result of a car accident on Highway 63. Her first court appearance was in scheduled for March.

People that witnessed the accident reported to police that they saw a black car heading south that was weaving back and forth on the road. Then it crossed over into the oncoming lane of traffic where it slammed into a motorcycle head on. When police questioned the driver of the car at the scene, her story did not match up with the witness accounts.

The driver told police that she had not been drinking nor taking any drugs before getting behind the wheel of her car. She said that she had fallen asleep at the wheel and that was the cause of the accident. The driver also told police that she had not been using her cell phone at the time of the accident.

The woman's phone records corroborated the fact that she had not been on the phone at the time of the accident. A blood sample was taken at an area hospital to determine whether the woman was intoxicated or high on drugs at the time of the accident. She has since been charged with one count of vehicular homicide (intoxicated use), one count of vehicular homicide (controlled substance use) and one count of negligent operation causing death.

Under Wisconsin law, the family of the victim retains the right to file a wrongful death claim against the driver to recover the out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of the victim's death. Should she be convicted of any charge related to the car accident, that conviction may be used as evidence of the driver's negligence. No amount of money will ever make up for the loss of a loved one, but it may help defray the financial impact of the accident.

Source: Rivertowns.net, "Red Wing woman charged with vehicular homicide," Jason Schulte, March 15, 2013

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