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After repeated requests by La Crosse area media, more information is being released about a fatal car crash involving a former sheriff's deputy.
The Wisconsin State Patrol has provided our newsroom with copies of the accident report and witness statements about the 2010 accident in which teenage driver Brandon Jennings was killed. Deputy Trisha Stratman collided with the Jennings car while responding to a police call in Holmen. Stratman will be tried this fall for negligent homicide. Witness accounts reported that the squad car was traveling very fast before the collision...with one estimate of about 120 miles an hour. While one driver in the opposite lane of Highway 35 says she is 'almost certain' the light for her and the squad car was green, other witnesses do not recall what color the light on 35 was at the time of the crash.
A near miss for a woman walking downtown this week-end during Oktoberfest in La Crosse. It was actually not a miss at all, but the woman managed to walk away relatively uninjured after getting clipped by a drunk driver coming out of a parking ramp. Police say Onalaska's Shawn Viner was solidly drunk when he left the third street ramp on Friday afternoon. He hit the woman in the back with his truck and kept right on driving. Cop eventually stopped him six blocks away. They say Viner blew a .255. His third drunk driving arrest.
Police were certainly busy for Oktoberfest this week-end in La Crosse. Largely with ticket writing. They're still counting them up. So far, they're up to nearly six dozen underage drinking tickets and multiple public consumption tickets. They were also called on several noise complaints, had several falling down drunks they had to haul to detox and a couple of calls for public nudity. Then, there was that whole, squirrel-tossing, bottle-hurling, car-flipping melee by the UWL campus. Police say about a thousand were involved in the near riot on Saturday and it took two shifts of police to calm it down. They say the fun started with some groups tossing around a dead squirrel.
Absentee Ballots for the Special Election for the 95th Assembly District to be held on October 11th are now available for City of La Crosse residents living in Wards 1-17.
Invoking the state’s Safe Haven law, a mother surrendered her newborn baby at a La Crosse fire station. The woman brought the child to the station last Thursday afternoon about 4:30 p.m. The woman presented a medical history and was very helpful. The child was thought to be about three hours old.
Wisconsin’s Safe Haven law was enacted 10 years ago. It allows a parent to turn over an unharmed infant to police, fire, medical or emergency personnel, or a hospital, within 72 hours of birth and remain anonymous.
After the baby is determined to be healthy, he will become eligible for foster care and a possible adoption.