A 27-year-old Holmen, Wisconsin, man admitted that he had been drinking alcohol – “too much to be driving” – as he was questioned by police following a two-car fatal accident that killed one Onalaska woman and injured four other people. The motor vehicle accident happened on a Saturday afternoon on Highway 35 in Holmen.

A witness said he saw a Chevrolet pickup heading north at a high rate of speed on the highway, pass a car and hit a Saturn Ion that was making a left turn. One 23-year-old woman died immediately and four other women, 22 and 23 years of age were injured in the crash.

One accident witness noticed the pickup truck’s driver attempting to flee the scene on foot. As emergency responders arrived at the scene, a witness helped police track the injured pickup driver into a wooded area, where he turned himself over to authorities.

The man was taken to a medical facility for treatment. He appeared in La Crosse County Circuit Court that Tuesday. A judge ordered him to be jailed on $250,000 bond.

Police reportedly told him he would be charged with homicide, but formal charges were still pending.

Police reports say the pickup driver could not remember the amount of alcohol he had consumed, the events of the crash or running away from police. Members of the man’s family said he had prior drinking problems. He is on parole after a prison term served on federal charges of distributing methamphetamines.

This tragic accident shows just how awful the consequences of impaired driving can be. A young woman’s life was cut short because one person chose to drive drunk. Now, her family will be left to mourn their loss. This crash should serve as a grave reminder to all Wisconsin drivers of the importance of safe driving.

Source: LaCrosseTribune.com, “Witness recalls fatal Holmen crash,” Anne Jungen, 29 June 2011