By Shereen Siewert

A Wausau-area motorcycle driver is facing two recommended felony charges in connection with an Antigo-area crash that critically injured a passenger.

Police say 44-year-old Benjamin Adkins, of Schofield, was driving on Hwy. Y at Beattie Road in the Langlade County town of Ackley at about 8:55 p.m. June 30 when he missed a curve and crashed. Both Adkins and his passenger, a 48-year-old Wausau-area woman, were airlifted to Aspirus Wausau Hospital for treatment of their injuries, according to the incident report.

Their current conditions have not been released.

Adkins is facing recommended charges of fifth-offense operating while intoxicated and of causing injury while under the influence, according to the police report. The responding deputy also cited inattentive driving and speed as contributing factors in the crash.

Preliminary breath test results were not immediately available. Blood test results are pending.

If Adkins is convicted of either charge, he could face significant penalties. A 2020 change in Wisconsin law mandated an 18-month minimum prison term for a fifth-offense drunken driving conviction. Judges no longer have sentencing discretion in such cases.

Court records show Adkins, who has not yet been formally charged, was convicted of his fourth drunken driving charge in 2007.