A Necedah man is facing felony OWI charges after police say he rolled his vehicle several times, throwing his passenger from the vehicle.
James Beaver, 39, of Necedah is charged with felonies operating while intoxicated causing injury, second offense, and operating with prohibited alcohol concentration causing injury, second offense. He faces up to six years in prison or a fine of up to $10,000, or both, for each charge if convicted.
According to the criminal complaint:
At about 8:06 p.m. Nov. 16 Deputy Justin Wegmueller was dispatched to Highway 12 and 16 near Morrissey Road in Lemonweir for a one-vehicle accident.
Arriving at the scene, Wegmueller approached a vehicle, where he found a man lying on his back in a field near the vehicle. Wegmueller asked the man if he was alright and other questions, but the man did not answer him. The man was awake and breathing normally.
Deputy Brown, also on scene, spoke with the driver of the vehicle, later identified as James Beaver. The vehicle was turned over onto its roof and had suffered heavy damage, while Beaver was trapped in the driver’s seat upside down. Asked if he was hurt, Beaver replied he did not think he was hurt.
Wegmueller continued asking the man where he was hurt, but received no answer. When EMS and firefighters arrived on scene, the man eventually answered he was not hurt, and asked what was going on. Wegmueller told him he had been in a crash, but the man looked confused and said he had not been in a crash.
Asked who was in the vehicle, the man said he was in the vehicle with Beaver. Asked if he had been wearing shoes, the man stated he had been wearing shoes.
Brown, with assistance from firefighters, removed Beaver from the vehicle and asked him what happened. Beaver stated he did not know, but the last thing he remembered was being at Norms Bar in Lyndon Station. Asked if he was drinking and how much, Beaver said yes and three to four drinks. Beaver later told hospital staff he had five or six drinks.
In investigating the scene, officers noted the vehicle had been traveling west on Highway 12 and 16. There were long skid marks in the highway leading to the crash scene, and it appeared Beaver had been traveling at a high rate of speed. The vehicle apparently left the road, struck a stop sign, rolled sideways several times, and came to rest upside down about 50 yards into a field.
Beaver was taken to the hospital by ambulance, while the passenger was taken to the hospital and then med flown to Madison’s University of Wisconsin Hospital. A doctor at the hospital stated the passenger had a broken pelvis and possible internal injuries.
Officers received consent for a blood draw from Beaver. The samples revealed a blood alcohol concentration of 0.178.
Beaver is scheduled for an initial appearance Feb. 12 at the Juneau County Justice Center.
Reach Christopher Jardine on Twitter @ChrisJJardine or contact him at 608-432-6591.
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