Driving while suspended: One year later, woman charged in connection with fatal crash

MILWAUKEE COUNTY (WITI) -- A 22-year-old Milwaukee woman has now been charged in connection with a fatal crash that occurred over a year ago -- on June 13th, 2013.

It happened just before midnight near the intersection of N. Teutonia and W. Fairmount Avenue in Milwaukee.

22-year-old Jasmine Beets faces two felonies: one count of homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle, and one count of knowingly operating a motor vehicle while suspended, causing death.

73-year-old Lee Green was taken to Froedtert Hospital after the crash -- and he was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

Lee Green

When officials arrived at the scene of the crash -- they observed the operator of the striking vehicle -- Jasmine Beets, receiving medical treatment.

The criminal complaint issued against Beets says a check with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation revealed Beets' driver's license was suspended.

The crash occurred at an intersection where three roads converge -- those being N. Teutonia, W. Cameron Ave. and N. 28th Street.

The complaint says an officer observed the roadway to be dry and clear of debris -- and there were no environmental factors he could observe as having contributed to this crash.

The complaint says the vehicle Beets was driving was observed with its front end resting against a building on the northwest corner of the intersection.

The vehicle had severe front end damage, and the front driver and passenger airbags were deployed, according to the complaint.

A second vehicle was observed facing southbound in the southbound lanes of N. Teutonia Avenue.

The complaint says that vehicle had severe left fender and front end damage and the front driver and passenger airbags were deployed.

A check with the Department of Transportation determined this vehicle to be registered to Lee Green.

The complaint says there were numerous after impact tire marks in the intersection -- and there did not appear to be any sign of pre-impact braking for either vehicle involved.

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office performed an autopsy on Green, and determined he died as a result of multiple blunt force injuries he suffered in the crash.

The criminal complaint against Beets says in October of 2011, Beets was found guilty of operating while registration suspended, and obstructing traffic in Milwaukee Municipal Court.

In November of 2001, the complaint says Beets was found guilty of speeding in Fond du Lac County Circuit Court.

In January of 2012, the complaint says Beets' driver's license was suspended by Milwaukee Municipal Court for two years -- for failing to pay a fine.

Later in January of 2012, the complaint says Beets' driver's license was suspended for 496 days by Fond du Lac County Circuit Court for failing to pay a fine.

The complaint says in December of 2012, Beets was found guilty of Operating While Suspended and compulsory insurance/no insurance by the Pleasant Prairie Village Municipal Court.

This, after a traffic stop in which Beets was found to be operating while suspended -- according to the complaint.

As for the crash in June of 2013, a police officer was able to obtain data contained within the airbag control module from Beets' vehicle -- which determined she was traveling at a speed of 62 miles per hour, according to the complaint.

The complaint says in the seconds before the crash, Beets' vehicle had a listed speed as high as 65 miles per hour.

The complaint says a crash reconstruction showed Beets' vehicle was estimated to be traveling at an impact speed of 55 to 59 miles per hour at the time of the crash.

The complaint says Lee Green's vehicle was estimated to be traveling at approximately 11 miles per hour.

During the crash reconstruction, the complaint indicates an officer was able to determine that had Beets been traveling at the posted 30 mile-per-hour speed limit, this crash likely would not have occurred.

Family members of Lee Green say they're surprised and relieved to learn charges have now been filed. They say they're grateful this day has finally come.

"He was just a loving, caring person," Green's granddaughter Markiesha Griffin said.

Green's family just marked the one-year anniversary of his death, not knowing whether anyone would ever be held responsible.

"June 13th last year was the day he was killed," Green's daughter-in-law Tayeshia Green said.

In the days after the crash that took his life, Green's family members gathered at the scene to pray and release balloons in his memory.

"It shouldn't have happened, but we have people who were driving recklessly and shouldn't have been, and they took an innocent person away from a family that loved him. I'm just really surprised that (charges came) today. It is upsetting to me that (Jasmine Beets) shouldn't have been driving, and it's upsetting for me to see that she was also so young," Tayeshia Green said.

Green's daughter-in-law says she wants to see Beets in court and speak with her.

"Not out of anger, not to show that I'm frustrated, but just to let her know that she did take someone from a family that loved him.  And to let her know that she had options. She could have chosen not to have driven that way," Tayeshia Green said.

If convicted, Beets faces up to 16 years in prison and up to $35,000 in fines.