Accident reconstruction specialists for the Wisconsin State Patrol took one year to put together conclusions about a fatal car accident in Chippewa County. The motor vehicle accident report, released in June, led to recent drunk driving and vehicular homicide charges for a 27-year-old Milwaukee man.

The accused man was reportedly driving drunk in Wheaton in the early morning hours on June 12 of last year. The defendant’s Pontiac was southbound on a county road around 2:30 a.m. when the car slammed into the back of a semi-truck.

Hitting the truck caused the defendant’s car to spin out and strike a third vehicle on the northbound side of the road, according to police reports. The Pontiac burst into flames. A male passenger in the defendant’s car was unable to escape the vehicle and died in the resulting fire.

Occupants of the third vehicle, a Mazda, were seriously injured in the crash. The Mazda driver suffered traumatic chest injuries and fractures to his leg and sternum. A passenger in the Mazda broke an ankle and sustained a head injury.

Police conducted an alcohol breath test on the GTO driver that registered .131, well above the legal .08 intoxication limit. An additional test showed traces of morphine in the suspect’s system.

After the release of the reconstruction team’s report, the Milwaukee man was freed on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond. The bond continued following a recent court appearance issuing formal charges.

The 27-year-old driver is charged with dual counts of causing injury while operating a vehicle under intoxication and a single count of homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle.

If convicted of homicide, the man could be imprisoned for a maximum of 25 years. Another court appearance is set for the middle of next month.

Source: Chippewa Herald, “Homicide charged in 2010 Wheaton crash,” Dec. 8, 2011