By Shereen Siewert
WAUSAU — Trial dates have been set for the driver in a Wausau-area crash that left one man dead and three people injured, after years of motions and court hearings.
Investigators say 67-year-old Douglas R. Stone, of Merrill, had cocaine metabolites and alcohol in his system when he was behind the wheel in a May 2017 crash. A passenger in Stone’s vehicle, 75-year-old Ernest Paul Elliott, of Wausau, died.
Charges were filed Sept. 12, 2018, 16 months after the crash.
According to the police report obtained by Wausau Pilot and Review, Stone was driving north on CTH W in the town of Texas in a Ford Mustang GT when he turned into the driveway of Brokaw Corners, T7550 Hwy. W, and into the path of an oncoming vehicle driven by then-18-year-old Kaleb Tesky of Merrill.
According to the criminal complaint filed Sept. 12 in Marathon County Circuit Court:
- Roadway markings show Tesky tried to stop but struck Stone’s vehicle on the front passenger side and sending Stone’s vehicle into the west ditch. Tesky’s 1986 Chevrolet Suburban careened into the east side ditch and rolled onto the driver’s side.
- Tesky, who was injured in the crash, told police he was driving at about 60 mph when he saw Stone turn in front of him but couldn’t stop in time and couldn’t swerve to avoid the crash because of oncoming traffic.
- An off-duty detective who was inside Brokaw Corners at the time of the crash said he heard what sounded like a loud muffler followed by a vehicle backfiring. Moments later, a man entered the tavern who was covered in blood. The detective then went outside and saw the crash scene.
- Tesky, Stone and Stone’s wife, Linda Stone, were all injured in the crash and were transported to Aspirus Wausau Hospital for treatment. Linda Stone suffered a broken neck, broken sternum, broken ribs and a broken ankle in the crash.
- Elliott was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy showed he died of multiple blunt force injuries released to the crash.
- In police interviews, both Doug Stone and his wife told police they had visited two separate taverns before making their way to Brokaw Corners with Elliott, who had asked for a ride. Blood test results for Doug Stone tested positive for Benzoylecgonine, which is the main metabolite of cocaine, and ethanol, which indicates the presence of alcohol.
- Police also discovered THC oil, marijuana, marijuana “edibles” and two marijuana pipes in Doug Stone’s vehicle. Tesky did not have any alcohol or drugs in his system and investigators say he was not using his cell phone at the time of the crash.
Mr. Stone faces charges of vehicular homicide by use of a controlled substance, homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, two counts of causing injury by operating a motor vehicle with a controlled substance and two counts of causing injury by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle.
Court records show Doug Stone had been arrested on charges of drunken driving in a village of Maine crash that happened just six weeks before crash that killed Elliott. In that crash, which happened on April 4, 2017, blood tests indicate Mr. Stone was driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.184 percent, more than twice the 0.08 legal limit for driving in Wisconsin.
During a December 2018 hearing, Circuit Judge Jill Falstad, who has since retired, ordered Stone bound over for arraignment and trial, and ordered him to maintain complete sobriety.
Stone has made multiple attempts to modify his bond requirements and has been excused from day reporting at ATTIC several times on a temporary basis to allow him to go on vacation. Stone declined an offer to settle the case in early 2021, court records show.
This week, Circuit Judge LaMont Jacobson set a jury trial date of June 13, 2022 with a jury status hearing in May. Stone, who is not in custody, is free on a $50,000 signature bond.
If he is convicted on the homicide charges alone, Mr. Stone faces up to 50 years in the Wisconsin Prison System.