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Citations filed, homicide investigation pending in fatal UTV crash

in Breaking News/Sirens

Wausau Pilot and Review

RHINELANDER — With a homicide investigation still pending, five citations have been filed against a Weston woman in connection with an August UTV crash that left an Athens man dead.

Citations of operating a UTV while intoxicated, refusing to take an alcohol test, operating a UTV without each person wearing a seat belt, operating a UTV in a careless way, and operating a UTV with a prohibited alcohol concentration were filed Oct. 3 in Oneida County against Brenda Reiche, now 47, of Weston. Oneida County District Attorney Michael Schiek said he will make a formal decision on potential homicide charges after the crash investigation is complete.

Reiche, who was critically injured in the crash, has denied driving.

Police and first responders were alerted to the crash just before 8 p.m. Aug. 4 on The Point Road East in the town of Nokomis. Investigators say the UTV left the roadway and struck a tree off the side of the road. Adam Rietz, 49, of Athens, died at the scene.

The Department of Natural Resources, which spearheaded the traffic portion of the investigation, released a fatality report summary that shows speed and alcohol are suspected factors in the crash. Neither passenger was wearing a seat belt, according to the DNR.

Oneida County Capt. Tyler Young said investigators are relying on both statements and physical evidence that placed Reiche behind the wheel at the time of the crash. He declined to elaborate further on the nature of the physical evidence involved.

Blood test results are not yet public record.

In an Aug. 5 news release (below) Oneida County Sheriff’s Department officials, who handled the criminal investigation into the crash, said they would forward charges of homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle to the Oneida County District Attorney. Homicide by drunken driving carries a maximum penalty of 25 years in the Wisconsin Prison System and up to $100,000 in fines.

There have been 19 fatal ATV/UTV crashes in Wisconsin so far this year, according to the DNR. In 2017, 27 people were killed in Wisconsin crashes involving ATVs or UTVs.

Press Release -August 4, 2018 UTV Crash - Fatal

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