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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:  

Delafield Block Party: 5 p.m.-12 a.m. July 10, 11, Downtown Delafield. Festival features food and music plus specialty brews and wine. Friday entertainment is The Orphans and The Toys. Saturday hear Up All Night and Rhythm Method. www.chamber.visitdelafield.org

Lake Country Art Festival: 9 a.m. July 11, Naga-Waukee Park, 651 State Road 83, Delafield. The Lake Country Art Festival features more than 100 juried artists from jewelry, paintings, photography, fiber crafts and metal artists. Children’s activities tent, silent auction, entertainment and food services provided by Delafield Brewhaus. There is a $5 donation per carload for parking with all money raised going to local charities and scholarships to graduating seniors.

Sussex Lions Days: July 10-12, Sussex Village Park. Annual event features carnival rides, live music, sport tournaments, sheepshead tournament, bingo, food and beverage booths, pony and camel rides and tractor pull. Fireworks Friday night. Parade at 10:30 a.m. Sunday. www.sussexlions.org

Annual Oconomowoc Arts Center Open House: 6 p.m. July 11, Oconomowoc Arts Center, 641 E. Forest St., Oconomowoc. Tom Klubertanz and Andy Zietlow will entertain visitors. Free brats, burgers and hot dogs. Local dance and community service groups will be on hand in the lobby with informational tables. Check out the 2015-16 season line up and take advantage of discounts for early ticket purchases.

Updates to this calendar are made weekly Monday afternoon. 

All weekend happenings

 

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