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2 men arrested on drunken-driving charges after crash Saturday in town of Pacific
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2 men arrested on drunken-driving charges after crash Saturday in town of Pacific

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TOWN OF PACIFIC — Two drivers were arrested on charges of drunken driving Saturday after they allegedly crashed into each other.

Columbia County dispatch received a call at 2:22 a.m. regarding the collision near the intersection of Highway 16 and Dunning Road where one of the drivers had fled the scene into a wooded area while law enforcement responded to the scene, Sheriff Roger Brandner said.

Deputies began a K9 search and eventually located and arrested Joseph Gay, 59, of Madison, on charges of sixth-offense OWI and felony bail jumping. Gay remains in custody at Columbia County Jail awaiting his court proceedings.

The driver of the other vehicle — James Wilkens, 28, of Beaver Dam — was also arrested on a charge of driving while intoxicated, first offense, and he eventually was released to a responsible party.

Investigators determined that Gay was traveling west on Highway 16 when he crossed over the center line and hit Wilkens, who was driving east on Highway 16, Brandner said. Neither man was injured.

The sheriff’s office was assisted by Divine Savior EMS and Blystone’s Towing.

Online court records show Gay was charged with his fifth or sixth OWI in July 2019 in Columbia County and he is scheduled to returns to court on that charge July 30.

Follow Noah Vernau on Twitter @NoahVernau or contact him at 608-695-4956.

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