Milwaukee man charged in multi-vehicle crash that killed pedestrian

George Reel

A 24-year-old Milwaukee man is now charged in connection with a fatal crash that happened at 60th and Burleigh in Milwaukee on Thursday, Dec. 31. The accused is George Reel -- and he faces the following criminal counts: 

  • Second-degree reckless homicide, habitual criminality repeater
  • Knowingly operate motor vehicle while revoked - cause death of another, habitual criminality repeater
  • Bail jumping (felony), habitual criminality repeater
  • Second-degree reckless injury, habitual criminality repeater

According to the criminal complaint, officers responded to the crash scene at 60th and Burleigh shortly before 2 p.m. on Dec. 31. They observed the body of the victim, identified as Arthur Baker.

Arthur "A.J." Baker

Officials made an examination of the scene, the vehicles involved, and surveillance video which captured the crash. Investigators determined based on all of those elements that the SUV that was driven by Reel was traveling southbound on 60th Street towards a red light. Witnesses indicated to police that the SUV was traveling 60 to 80 miles per hour. The posted speed limit in the area is just 30 miles per hour.

As the SUV entered the intersection, the complaint says the SUV struck the driver's side mirror of one vehicle, another car's left rear fender, and then continued through the red light and into the intersection. The complaint says Reel's SUV then struck another car, which "spun around and landed on top" of the pedestrian who later died.

Crash near 60th and Burleigh in Milwaukee

Crash near 60th and Burleigh in Milwaukee

When detectives spoke with Reel, he "initially claimed his girlfriend had been driving the GMC truck and that they had fled another vehicle because (a) a drive rwas shooting at them. The defendant later admitted he was driving the truck, not his girlfriend, and while he still claimed to be fleeing from another vehicle, he admitted that no shots had been fired." Reel also admitted to police that "he was not allowed to drive due to the status of his license." The complaint also says Reel "admitted that he had smoked marijuana" for about six hours earlier that same day. Officers recovered three grams of marijuana from Reel when he was arrested, the complaint says. 

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Crash near 60th and Burleigh in Milwaukee

Reel made his initial appearance in Milwaukee County court on Tuesday, Jan. 5. Cash bond was set at $100,000. Reel is due back in court for a preliminary hearing on Jan. 14.

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