KENOSHA CO. (WITI) -- A Milwaukee man has been formally charged in connection with a deadly wrong-way crash that occurred on Sunday morning, September 21st in Kenosha County.
19-year-old Alejandro Ramirez-Gonzalez is facing seven felony charges:
In court on Tuesday, October 7th, Ramirez-Gonzalez issued not guilty pleas to all of the charges against him.
The crash happened shortly before 1:00 a.m. on I-94 westbound, north of State Highway 142 in Kenosha County — near Kenosha.
According to the criminal complaint, Ramirez-Gonzalez was traveling southbound in the northbound lanes of I-94 in a white pickup truck when the crash occurred.
The complaint indicates that a trooper observed the truck traveling the wrong-way around 12:48 a.m., and activated his emergency lights and siren. The trooper, who was traveling southbound in the southbound lanes, was able to catch up with Ramirez-Gonzalez at the County A overpass.
As Ramirez-Gonzalez' vehicle and the trooper's vehicle traveled parallel, the trooper yelled for Ramirez-Gonzalez to stop. According to the complaint, Ramirez-Gonzalez slowed to approximately five miles-per-hour, and his passenger apparently yelled something at the trooper. Then, Ramirez-Gonzalez took off -- traveling at speeds estimated to be nearly 100 miles-per-hour, weaving through oncoming traffic.
That’s when Ramirez-Gonzalez struck a northbound pickup truck head-on, in a construction zone near the County Highway 142 overpass.
48-year-old Robert Miller, the driver of the pickup truck that was struck, died in the crash. His passenger, 47-year-old Christine Miller of Grafton, was taken to St. Catherine’s Hospital for treatment of her injuries. She is expected to survive.
The DOT says the Millers were each wearing their seatbelts at the time of the crash.
Ramirez-Gonzalez was taken to Froedtert Hospital for treatment of his injuries. His passenger was a 17-year-old Milwaukee male. He was taken to St. Catherine’s Hospital for treatment of his injuries, and he is expected to survive.
The passenger that was traveling in Ramirez-Gonzalez' vehicle told police that the two were at a concert at the Three Monkey's Club in Sturtevant prior to the incident. He told police that prior to going to the concert, they began drinking vodka. Then, around 12 a.m. when they left the concert, they returned to the truck and began taking more shots of vodka before leaving the parking lot.
Ramirez-Gonzalez' blood collected from St. Catherine’s Hospital determined that his blood drawn at 2:35 a.m. had a BAC (ethanol) level of 0.215 g/100 ml and that his blood specimen drawn at 3:12 a.m. had a BAC (ethanol) level of 0.198 g/100 ml.
"If the allegations are true, the defendant engaged in a truly reckless and terrifying endeavor," Assistant District Attorney Jerrold Hinshaw said.
Citing the allegations, the court commissioner Tuesday denied a bond reduction request from Ramirez-Gonzalez' attorney.
"I am going to continue the $250,000 cash bond," Court Commissioner Jon Mason said.
Outside the courtroom, Julius Andriusis told FOX6 News his client's bail is excessive.
"I think the court could set such a bail that he at least has a possibility to post. This bail is out of his reach, so he will not have the possibility to be out to prepare, if something needs to be prepared for his defense," Andriusis said.
If convicted of the charges against him, Ramirez-Gonzalez faces more than 100 years in prison.