By Shereen Siewert
WAUSAU — Police have arrested a suspect connected to a Wausau hit-and-run that left a Wausau woman fighting for her life, officials said.
Saturday morning, Wausau police located and seized a black 2014 Ford Focus suspected in Thursday’s crash. Witnesses have shared photos on Facebook showing a vehicle matching that description being towed from a residence about a block from where the crash happened.
Police had been searching for the vehicle and a suspect since the hit-and-run, which was reported at about 12:30 p.m. on First Avenue at Knox Street on Wausau’s west side. The victim in the crash was taken to a local hospital for treatment of injuries described by police as life-threatening.
The car was located in a garage and had damage consistent with the crash that gravely injured a 22-year-old jogger.
Police have also identified a suspect in the crash as 27-year-old Josie Romero, who was arrested Friday in Antigo with the assistance of the Antigo Police Department. Romero is being held in the Marathon County Jail on preliminary charges of hit and run causing great bodily harm.
Court records show Romero was out on bond in an unrelated case and had a court appearance just two hours before the crash in which a plea agreement with prosecutors was reached. In that case, Romero is facing charges of cocaine and marijuana possession with a plea hearing set for Aug. 8. It is unclear how these new charges will impact her pending case. Court filings show previous citations for driving with a suspended license, disorderly conduct and speeding.
Additional details are expected to be released Monday when Romero is expected to make her initial court appearance in Marathon County Circuit Court. An investigation continues.
The woman injured in the crash is in intensive care, according to friends and family members. Her name has not been publicly released.
“We continue to be appreciative of the assistance from the community members that helped us piece together what happened up to this point,” a Wausau Police Department Facebook post reads. “Our thoughts and prayers continue for the victim’s speedy and full recovery and her family.”
Photo of car courtesy of Thomas Bloch