By Shereen Siewert
A 30-year-old Unity woman is facing felony charges after she allegedly crashed into a horse-drawn buggy, injuring the horses and seriously injuring one of the two men inside.
Ashley R. Halopka is being summoned into Marathon County Court, where she is charged with reckless driving causing great bodily harm, a felony, and reckless driving causing injury, a misdemeanor. Charges were filed June 16 in connection with the April 22 crash, which happened at about 4:30 p.m. on West Veterans Parkway in Marshfield.
According to court documents, the buggy driver was heading north out of Marshfield when the vehicle and horses were struck by Halopka, who was driving a 2011 Jeep. A witness told police she was following Halopka and saw no brake lights prior to the crash.
One of the men in the buggy was ejected and suffered minor injuries, police said. The other man was dragged down the road by the horses and suffered great bodily injury, losing a portion of his left ring finger. Both horses were also injured in the crash.
Police say Halopka did not recall seeing the buggy and admitted she might have looked away from the road for a moment prior to the crash. Halopka cooperated with investigators and no alcohol was involved, police said.
Halopka, who is not in custody, faces up to 3 1/2 years in the Wisconsin Prison System if she is convicted on the felony charge alone. An initial appearance is set for Aug. 2.