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Hager City man gets probation for vehicular homicide

A Hager City man was placed on four years probation Monday after being sentenced for vehicular homicide. 

Zebediah Nathan Tri, 24, pled guilty to homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle during a plea hearing in January. As one of the conditions, Tri was ordered to spend one year in the Pierce County Jail, which immediately started after the hearing.

Tri was charged with negligent homicide along with homicide by use of controlled substance following an accident last March claiming the life of Brenda Bemis, 50, Hager City.

According to the criminal complaint:

The sheriff’s department was notified of a two-car crash on Hwy. 63 near 220th Avenue in the Town of Trenton.

It stated investigation determined a southbound vehicle driven by Kalea Stewart, 22, Ellsworth, was slowing or stopped, waiting for northbound traffic to clear so she could make a left turn into a private driveway. Tri, who was traveling behind Stewart, rear-ended the Stewart vehicle, causing the collision.

Besides Bemis, there was a three-year-old toddler as a passenger. Bemis was pronounced dead at the scene.

Stewart told investigators there was nothing she could do to avoid the collision. Tri said he didn’t see Stewart’s car prior to colliding with it as his windshield fogged up. A witness, who was northbound, also told the sheriff’s department it didn’t appear Tri slowed down before striking Stewart’s vehicle.

Tri was taken to the River Falls Area Hospital for a legal blood draw. The sheriff’s department received the results in June and found no alcohol, but components of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) were present.

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For more please read the March 19 print version of the Herald. 

Jason Schulte

Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 

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