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Three cited in summer crash that claimed three lives

Students had been drinking before Delafield crash

Jan. 2, 2013

A Pewaukee family is facing numerous citations for allegedly providing alcohol to three Arrowhead High School students at a party in July. The three died in a car crash in Delafield later that night.

Scott Wetzel, 58, his wife, Charlene, and son Jason were all cited numerous times for permitting Kody Koepke, Timothy "TJ" Peters and Ian Glidden - all 18 - to drink. Each of the Wetzels received nine citations and could be fined up to $500 for each citation.

Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel said police were able to track down where the three 18-year-olds had been before the crash. Schimel said the Wetzels were hosting a party and the mother, Charlene, admitted to providing alcohol to the teens alcohol.

Under state law, charges cannot be issued for providing alcohol to a person who later dies or suffers great bodily harm unless they are younger than 18. "We looked at it, and if these kids were a couple months younger we could be in an entirely different situation," he said. "The only other potential for charging a crime for providing (alcohol to minors) is if you knowingly serve and intoxicate someone and they are killed and this is not the case." Schimel said although she bought the alcohol, she did not see the three consume it and leave intoxicated, said Schimel.

Schimel sid there have been pushes previously to change the law to provide for tougher consequences in situations such as this, but the efforts never resulted in change.

"It's supposed to be the responsibility of the person drinking to make sure they don't go out and get behind the wheel intoxicated. We do it different if you are under 18, and you could certainly make an argument with people under the legal drinking age. And they are inexperienced drivers, too, for the most part, but you can't slant the law on this one," said Schimel.

Toxicology reports and the final collision analysis and reconstruction report done by the State Patrol and released in November show that alcohol and speed played a major part in the crash.

Koepke was driving a 2005 Chevy Cobalt at about 3:13 A.M. July 24 when it crashed into a utility pole on Nagawicka Road just north of Faire Lakes Parkway.

City of Delafield Police Chief Scott Taubel said Koepke, the driver of the 2005 Chevy had a 0.175 blood-alcohol level. Peters, the front-seat passenger, had a blood-alcohol level of 0.115.

According to the final accident report, the vehicle was going 58 mph when it struck the pole. The posted speed limit at the crash scene is 30 mph.

Taubel said the reports indicated no other drugs were found in their systems. Koepke and Peters, 2012 Arrowhead High School graduates, died at the scene from head trauma, while Glidden, the back-seat passenger, died from head trauma days later, after being transported to Froedtert Hospital.

The Wetzels will be in court next on Feb. 6, when a judge is expected to decide what fines to impose.

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Weekend Happenings

Featured this week:  

A Holiday Bazaar and Craft Fair will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, and 8 a.m. to noon Sunday, Nov. 2, at St. Jerome Parish School, 1001 S. Silver Lake St. The bazaar will feature handcrafted items, a raffle and Sweet Shop treats. A luncheon, which includes a beverage and dessert, will be $7 and served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1. Admission is free.
The Four Guyz in Dinner Jackets Doo-Wop Quartet will entertain from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, at St. Olaf’s Church, Highway O and Roosevelt Road in the town of Ashippun. Cost is $20 adults in advance, $25 at the door if seats are available. Call (414) 651-3915 for tickets.
A Supreme Breakfast will be held from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2, at St. Bruno Church, 266 W. Ottawa Ave., Dousman. Breakfast includes pancakes, French toast, sausage, eggs, hash browns, orange juice and coffee.Proceeds to benefit charities in the Dousman area. Hosted by the Dousman Knights of Columbus Council 6436 with the Dousman Masonic Lodge 315. Cost is $7 adults, $3 children under 10.
The Oconomowoc Winter Farmers Market will open for the season and celebrate five years starting at 9:15 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 2, at Oconomowoc Landscape Supply and Garden Center in Oconomowoc. From 9:15 to 9:30 a.m. will be a ribbon cutting; 10:15 to 10:30 a.m. will be birthday cake cutting and presentation by Alice in Dairyland. The market will be open 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays through March 2015, except Nov. 30 and Dec. 28. For more information, visit www.oconomowoc.org.

Updates to this calendar are made weekly Monday afternoon. 

 

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