Prosecutors: Man intoxicated during crash that left infant dead

Christopher Barnes

A Milwaukee man has been charged in a crash that caused the death of a 3 1/2-month-old girl on the city's south side Monday, March 8.

Prosecutors say Christopher Barnes was intoxicated behind the wheel when he crashed his vehicle near 34th and Greenfield.

Officers say the wreck happened when Barnes tried to pass another vehicle at a high rate of speed and lost control, striking an unoccupied parked vehicle around 12:30 p.m.

A 27-year-old woman and a 4-year-old girl also suffered serious injuries. Barnes was not hurt. A criminal complaint states the 4-year-old suffered a broken leg.

The infant died as a result of her injuries in the days after the crash. The complaint states the child was in a car carrier, but there were no belts in the carrier to hold the child inside.

Officers conducted field sobriety tests, during which Barnes appeared to "nod off" or daydream. According to a drug recognition expert, Barnes was believed to be under the influence of a combination of impairing substances. He later admitted, the complaint states, to having taken oxycodone and Xanax while in the car.

Milwaukee police say the incident is typical of the reckless driving incidents they have seen in recent months. If you see an incident of reckless driving, you are urged to call Milwaukee police. You can also visit the MPD's Traffic Safety Unit website to report reckless driving at mpdtsu.org.

Barnes is charged with:

  • Homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle
  • Injury by intoxicated use of a vehicle, great bodily harm
  • Possession of a firearm by a felon
  • Felony bail jumping 

If convicted, Barnes faces up to 53 years, six months in prison and fines up to $160,000.

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