Milwaukee man charged in connection with crash that critically injured utility worker

Antonio Owens

MILWAUKEE -- Antonio Owens is now charged in connection with the striking of a utility worker at 6th and State in downtown Milwaukee. Owens, 39, faces the following criminal counts:

    The crash happened just before 11 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 20. According to police, a 35-year-old utility worker was working in the roadway near his work vehicle, which had warning lights on in full operation, when he was struck by a vehicle traveling southbound on 6th Street, pinning him against another vehicle.

    Crash near 6th and State in Milwaukee

    According to the criminal complaint against Owens, a co-worker of the utility worker who became pinned between Owens' car and the utility truck indicated to police he "heard a loud crash coming from the area of his work van." The worker told police they had just put out warning signs and cones to survey communication lines near the intersection. When the co-worker looked to see what had happened, he indicated to police he saw "the driver of the Mercury was hysterically yelling like "Oh my God, what did I do?" The co-worker indicated he saw his co-worker pinned between the two vehicles -- and moments later became unresponsive.

    The utility worker who was struck was transported to a hospital with serious injuries. The complaint against Owens indicates the utility worker "had to have both legs amputated. During the surgery, his heart stopped twice and surgeons had to resuscitate him." The utility worker was last reported in a medically-induced coma and in critical condition.

    Crash near 6th and State in Milwaukee

    At the scene after officers arrived, the complaint says Owens "told officers on the scene that he was sorry and couldn't do anything." An officer "smelled an odor of alcohol on the defendant's breath. She also observed the defendant to have slurred speech and was having difficulty walking." Later at the hospital, Owens "denied drinking any alcohol but did admit to smoking marijuana." Investigators, based on multiple factors, "believed the defendant was impaired," the complaint says.

    The complaint says inside of Owens vehicle at the scene, officers located "an open 750 ml bottle of Vodka that was less than 3/4 full. Also inside of the defendant's vehicle was a backpack with 2.26g of marijuana."

    Owens is expected to make his initial appearance in court on Wednesday, Feb. 26.