CRIME AND COURT ROUNDUP: Two traffic fatalities over the weeked in western Wisconsin
A Minnesota man killed in a two-vehicle crash in western Wisconsin has been identified as 77-year-old Roger Beyer of Buffalo. Monroe County sheriff's deputies said Beyer's car crossed a center line and collided head-on with another vehicle. Another oncoming driver swerved to avoid Beyer's car, and it landed in a ditch. A ten-year-old boy was badly injured in the Beyer auto. He was hospitalized in critical condition at last word. The crash happened Saturday in the town of Byron northeast of Tomah. Meanwhile, a motorcyclist was killed on Saturday near Siren in far northwest Wisconsin. The State Patrol said 58-year-old Jerry Barker of Siren died after his bike left Burnett County Trunk "B" and landed in a field. That mishap is still being investigated.
Wisconsin state troopers will spend one more day on saturation patrols along Interstates 90-and-94. It's part of a coast-to-coast challenge to make it through four straight days -- including an entire weekend -- without a death on two of the nation's longest Interstates. As of 4 p-m yesterday, no deaths were reported anywhere along the 56-hundred miles of I-90-and-94 from Massachusetts to Washington State. The safe driving campaign wraps up tonight in 15 states, including Wisconsin -- where more patrol cars were added on Friday along with an aircraft to check for speeders. Wisconsin officials say the campaign is taking place on what's normally the deadliest month of the year on the state's highways. Over the past five years, an average of 62 Wisconsin motorists have been killed during crashes in August.
Sauk County sheriff's deputies are still investigating the death of a man who was struck by a vehicle while he was walking on a highway. Officials said the 31-year-old victim was in a traffic lane early yesterday on County Trunk "B-D" between the Baraboo-Wisconsin Dells Airport and the Ho-Chunk Casino. The pedestrian died at the scene. Investigators said alcohol did not appear to be a factor for the vehicle driver.
Over a dozen people are recovering, after a Wisconsin Dells tourist vehicle collided with a pick-up truck. Lake Delton Police are still investigating Saturday's mishap, in which 13 people were taken to hospitals -- none with life-threatening injuries. Officials said the pick-up might have crossed the center line and hit an Army Duck land-and-water vehicle. Two dozen passengers were on the Duck at the time, and two were in the pick-up truck. The crash occurred Saturday afternoon on County Trunk "A."
Two teenagers have been arrested in Racine for the shooting death of a free-lance photographer in Chicago. Police said the juveniles were the gunman and an accomplice in the mid-July shooting of 28-year-old Wil Lewis, who lived in northeast Wisconsin while he was growing up. Prosecutors said the gunman was aiming at somebody in a rival gang when he shot Lewis in the back by mistake. Thirty-one Eric Vaughn was charged recently with first-degree murder in the Lewis death. Officials said he provided the gun, and drove the getaway car. At last word, one of the teens was being held in the Racine County Jail under a three-quarter-million dollar bond. The other was being held without bond, as both were awaiting extradition to Illinois. Lewis was born in Guatemala. He was adopted and moved to Sturgeon Bay at age-seven, where his father Joseph Lewis was the high school principal at the time. The family moved to Kaukauna when Joseph got another job there. Wil Lewis graduated from Kaukauna High School in 2005. He has a photography degree from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design.
Two people and a dog escaped injury after their sailboat ran aground on Lake Michigan near Wind Point. Racine County authorities responded to a marine distress call yesterday. They said the 33-foot boat got stuck, and water flowed in which couldn't be removed quickly enough. A 39-year-old Oak Creek woman was sailing the boat with a 45-year-old Milwaukee man. The couple and the pet dog were transferred to a sheriff's patrol boat, and were taken to safety at a marina. The woman told Racine County water rescuers she was not familiar with the area -- and she did not realize the water was too shallow for her sailboat.
A status hearing is set for today in the court case of a 65-year-old Racine man who's in prison for a sexual assault in 1995. The Wisconsin Innocence Project at U-W Madison has asked for a new trial for Daniel Scheidell. He was one of two men charged in sexual assaults that occurred five weeks of each other, about six blocks apart in the same Racine neighborhood. Scheidell was sentenced to 25 years in prison for one of the incidents. Forty-four year old Joseph Stephen was charged just last month for the other attack. The Innocence Project says there's D-N-A evidence that Stephen committed both crimes, and they occurred in a similar manner. Racine County District Attorney Rich Chiapete says there's no D-N-A evidence in the Scheidell case -- and during his trial, the victim said she knew Scheidell, and that he was her attacker. However, Carrie Sperling of the Innocence Project said the jury did not know about recent evidence showing that Stephen had apparently assaulted the second woman in a similar manner to the first. Sperling said Scheidell has been eligible for five years to be let go from prison -- but he won't admit guilt and enter treatment, and that's why he's not being freed.