By Shereen Siewert
A Wausau man whose high speed boat crash was captured on video as he slammed into a park boat ramp will avoid a felony conviction, after pleading guilty to reduced charges in the case.
Joel Kleiber, 50, faced felony charges in Marathon County Circuit Court after bystander video captured him speeding across Lake Wausau and ramming his watercraft onto a boat ramp at D.C. Everest Park, 1800 S. Third Ave., on the city’s southwest side. See the full video and additional details about the incident here.
Kleiber, who was arrested after being identified through photos and videos taken at the scene, initially faced charges of second-degree recklessly endangering safety and disorderly conduct in the crash. But prosecutors on Tuesday agreed to amend the charge to negligent operation of a motor vehicle, a class A misdemeanor. A charge of disorderly conduct was dismissed but read into the record.
On Tuesday, Circuit Judge Greg Strasser accepted Kleiber’s guilty plea and ordered him to pay a $500 fine, plus court costs.
Charges of criminal damage to property and disorderly conduct-domestic abuse remain outstanding against Kleiber. Those charges were filed the same day as the reckless endangerment charges but are related to an incident a month prior to the boat crash, according to court records. Kleiber entered not guilty pleas to both charges in September and is subject to a $750 signature bond and alcohol restrictions.