Back on July 2, 2012, a crash occurred in West Point where Highways 188 and 60 meet. One man died that day. Now, almost one year later, the Wisconsin State Patrol’s car accident reconstruction has led to the other driver being charged with homicide in connection with the death of the other driver.

At the time of the accident, it was believed that the victim, who was on Highway 188 hearing north failed to stop at the stop sign at the intersection of the two highways. The accident reconstruction now shows that the northbound vehicle had, in fact, stopped at the stop sign and waited for traffic to clear before entering the intersection. It was after he entered the intersection that the other driver heading east on Highway 60 slammed into him at a high rate of speed. There was a truck in the left lane at the stop sign on Highway 188 that troopers surmise caused the two cars not to be able to readily see each other as the northbound car entered the intersection.

The Wisconsin State Patrol has been able to determine that the now charged driver was traveling approximately 24 miles per hour over the posted speed limit of 45 miles per hour as he approached the intersection. He did attempt to stop, and was able to slow down to 54 miles per hour, but it simply wasn’t enough to prevent the crash or prevent the death of the other driver. Troopers are certain that if the driver had been going to speed limit instead of traveling at 69 miles per hour, the other driver could have made it through the intersection in time to avoid a collision and may be alive today.

This car accident is a testament to the fact that the results of an official investigation can be vitally important. A family that was at first told their loved one not only had died, but was responsible for his own death, now has the peace of mind to know that it was not the victim’s fault. The family can also use the results of the accident reconstruction as evidence in a wrongful death action as evidence of the other driver’s negligence and that negligence caused the death of their loved one. This may allow the victim’s family to feel they have given their loved one some justice.

Source: Portage Daily Register, “Homicide charge follows fatal Sauk Prairie crash,” Shannon Green, May 30, 2013