A 3-year-old boy suffered a traumatic brain injury in a Calumet County car accident. His two younger sisters and pregnant mother were also hurt when an alleged drunk driver ran a stop sign on in Chilton.

OWI convictions that do not involve serious injuries or a fatal car accident can serve as wakeup calls for first-time offenders. Sheriff’s deputies say the 24-year-old man accused of the Chilton crash failed to learn from previous experience. The Reedsville man was convicted of OWI twice in the past.

Police records state the drunk driver blew through a stop sign on Faro Springs Road and into the path of a sport-utility vehicle on southbound State 32/57. A 33-year-old pregnant woman and her three children were inside that SUV.

The crash severely injured the oldest child, who remains in a medically-induced coma at St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay. Officials said brain swelling has developed. The boy’s condition is listed as serious.

The pregnant mother-of-three had bruised ribs. The Kiel woman was transported to St. Elizabeth Hospital for observation. Her 2-year-old daughter suffered a concussion. The youngest child, a 1-year-old, was hospitalized and released after treatment.

A passenger in the accused drunk driver’s vehicle broke his hip. The 36-year-old Brillion man told police that he and the driver had been to a bar before the crash.

The suspect told sheriff’s deputies he could not recall his whereabouts, his companion or the amount he drank. At one point, the accused man tried to convince deputies that his passenger had been behind the wheel.

Results of the Reedsville man’s blood alcohol test measured over 0.20, two-and-a-half times more than the 0.08 state limit.

Previous OWI convictions increased the severity of the charges against the Reedsville driver. The young man is charged with multiple counts of drunk driving while causing great bodily harm and injury. If convicted, the suspect could spend more than four decades in prison with fines up to $80,000.

Source: postcrescent.com, “Reedsville man charged in Chilton OWI crash,” Jim Collar, May 16, 2012