Driver charged in fatal accident
By NIKKI YOUNK
MARINETTE, Wis. – An Illinois man is facing felony charges stemming from a fatal accident on Friday that claimed the life of a Niagara, Wis. man.
Joseph G. Hayes, 43, of Lemont, Ill. faces one felony count of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle, one felony count of homicide by vehicle while operating with a prohibited alcohol concentration, one misdemeanor count of cause injury while operating under the influence, and one misdemeanor count of cause injury while operating with a prohibited alcohol concentration.
If convicted, Hayes could spend up to 50 years in prison.
An initial appearance in Marinette County Court has not yet been scheduled.
The charges against Hayes stem from a Sept. 27 incident in the town of Pound, Wis.
According to deputies from the Marinette County Sheriff’s Department, Hayes was traveling south in the northbound lane of U.S. 141 at about 10:55 p.m. when he struck another vehicle head-on.
The driver of that vehicle, 21-year-old Kristian Reed of Niagara, died from injuries sustained in the crash.
Hayes sustained non-incapacitating injuries.
Alcohol was believed to be a factor in the accident, said deputies.
Deputies noted that a total of four vehicles were involved in the accident.
According to the accident report, another vehicle was traveling behind Reed’s vehicle and was also struck by Hayes. The driver of that vehicle, 36-year-old Elvis Tucek of Homer Glen, Ill., sustained non-incapacitating injuries and was transported to Bay Area Medical Center.
A fourth vehicle was not actually hit, but received some minor damage from accident debris.
Nikki Younk’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.