Prosecutors: Dousman man 'didn't know how he hit a tree' after drinking 'a lot,' killing friend

JEFFERSON COUNTY -- A Dousman man out on bond in connection with his second OWI offense faces homicide charges after prosecutors said he drove drunk -- slamming his vehicle into a tree in Jefferson County on March 1, killing a friend who was a passenger.

David Bautch, 36, faces three counts:

    The crash happened just after 9 p.m. on County Trunk CI near Roger Road in the Town of Sullivan in Jefferson County.

    Responding deputies found a blue Chevy Camaro with severe passenger-side damage -- an unconscious female inside. Bautch and a couple who witnessed the crash were found near the vehicle, which was registered to Bautch.

    A criminal complaint said deputies noticed an odor of intoxicants, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes while interacting with Bautch, who appeared unbalanced.

    The woman who witnessed the crash said Bautch was initially laying in the westbound lane -- a Bud Light can also in the road.

    Bautch's female passenger was pronounced dead at the scene.

    Interview with David Bautch

    According to prosecutors, when asked how much he'd had to drink, Bautch said, "A lot." He said he'd been drinking in Palmyra and believed he was headed home to Dousman. He would not provide his passenger's name -- telling investigators she was a friend and he didn't know her name. He admitted he was previously arrested for drunk driving, the complaint said.

    Bautch was taken to the hospital for medical clearance and ended up being admitted for treatment. The complaint said he suffered facial injuries in the crash. En route to the hospital, the complaint said a metal piece from a missing rim from Bautch's vehicle was found in the squad where Bautch had been sitting.

    The complaint noted Bautch blew a .173 -- and a blood sample was taken at the hospital.

    Investigators spoke with Bautch again at the hospital, and he indicated he'd had seven cans of Bud Light, and "stopped when he crashed." He positively identified his passenger and said he knew her for two years. He said they'd been drinking at Sullivan Saloon and were heading back to the woman's house when the crash happened, indicating he "didn't know how he hit a tree."

    Video from Sullivan Saloon

    Surveillance video from the saloon was obtained by investigators and the complaint said it showed Bautch consuming four bottles of beer and three shots between 6:36 p.m. and 8:18 p.m. He and his passenger left the saloon at 8:51 p.m., moments before the crash.

    Prosecutors noted Bautch was out on bond in connection with pending his second OWI case out of Waukesha County at the time of this incident. He received a $750 signature bond on Dec. 10 in the case in which he's charged with OWI, second offense, and OWI, second offense with a prohibited alcohol concentration.