BARRON COUNTY (WQOW) - A crash that left one person dead earlier this year has resulted in a homicide charge.
Edward Wakefield, 54, is charged with homicide by vehicle - use of a controlled substance and knowingly operating a motor vehicle while revoked - causing death.
According to the criminal complaint filed in Barron County Court:
The crash happened on January 13, 2020, at the intersection of Highway I and 22 3/4 Street. That is near Chetek.
Wakefield told authorities that as he went over a hill he saw a semi about to make a left turn in front of him. He said he didn't think the semi had a trailer so he really didn't brake.
As the semi turned Wakefield said he saw it had a long trailer so he braked and turned at the last second but didn't remember much after that.
Wakefield also admitted to authorities his license was revoked.
A passenger in the vehicle with Wakefield was killed in the crash.
Wakefield was taken to the hospital and they drew blood. Results showed he had 260 ng/ml of meth in his blood and 34 ng/ml of amphetamine in his blood
The complaint says Wakefield was revoked because he was convicted of driving intoxicated on three separate occasions between 1997 and 2019. As part of the 2019 sentencing, his license was revoked for two years and 45 days.
According to a crash reconstruction, authorities say Wakefield would have been able to see the semi from 382 feet away which would have given him 4.7 to 5.2 seconds to react.
If convicted on both counts, Wakefield could spend the next 31 years in prison.