A Thorp, Wisconsin, man was sentenced to 18 months in prison followed by five years of supervision for homicide by intoxicated use of an auto. On the night of Oct. 30, 2011, during a night of partying and drinking, the man wrecked his pickup truck in the early hours of the morning when he missed a curve and hit numerous trees. His passenger, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was killed when his head struck the windshield of the vehicle.

The passenger had started the evening at an innocent cookout, and later joined up with the vehicle’s driver when the party moved to a local tavern. After leaving the tavern, the two continued on to patronize two other bars before heading to a cabin where apparently they continued to drink. Both men were apparently well intoxicated when the accident occurred. The driver’s alcohol level was reported as 0.194.

The deceased man’s family is distraught over the fatal accident. His 86-year-old mother claims she will never get over it, and his widow said their middle child doesn’t always sleep nights trying to deal with the father’s death.

The driver of the truck appears to be truly repentant. He told the judge that he has quit drinking and that he claims full responsibility for his fault in the accident. He also promises to live his life in a fashion to make up for his mistake.

While the judge could have sentenced the man to a maximum sentence of 25 years and a $100,000 fine, he says that there has been an influx of letters received from folks in support of the defendant. In addition to the 18 months, the judge ordered the man to write apologies to the deceased man’s family and to do five presentations a year about the ill effects of drinking.

The family of the deceased just wants to see some kind of justice for the loss of their loved one. They have more than suffered in the past year and a half, with not just the loss of a loved one, but more than likely the loss of the father’s income, partnership and parental duties, as well. It is situations like this that Milwaukee attorneys work hard to help families overcome so they can move on with their lives.

chippewa.com, “Update: Pogodzinski gets 18 months prison in fatal crash” Rod Stetzer, Sep. 17, 2013