Sheriff’s officials seeking homicide charge against man accused of causing fatal crash on Highway 45

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) — The Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office says it is seeking homicide charges against a driver accused of causing a fatal crash that shut down a portion of Highway 45 for more than five hours on Tuesday, September 30th.

It happened just before 2:30, on Highway 45 southbound near Watertown Plank Road/Mayfair Road.

The Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office says the crash involved two vehicles — and one of those vehicles, a pickup truck, rolled over as a result of the crash.

Sheriff’s officials say the pickup truck’s driver, 54-year-old Dennis Meyer of Milwaukee was ejected from the pickup truck. Sheriff’s officials say when deputies arrived at the scene of the crash, a Good Samaritan, who is a nurse, was with the pickup truck’s driver.

Meyer was pronounced dead at the scene. His passenger, a 27-year-old man was also ejected, and he was taken to the hospital with serious injuries, but he is expected to survive.

Sheriff’s officials say neither the driver, nor the passenger of the pickup truck were wearing their seat belts.

Sheriff’s officials say witnesses indicated the driver of a Buick LeSabre,  a 45-year-old Milwaukee man, was changing lanes and passing in traffic recklessly when his vehicle lost control, went across all lanes of traffic and struck the pickup truck — causing it to roll.

The Sheriff’s Office says the Buick’s driver has said he was on his way to a doctor’s appointment. He was not impaired.

Sheriff’s officials say they’re seeking two felony charges against the Buick’s driver — for homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle and first degree recklessly endangering safety.

If convicted, the Buick’s driver faces up to 22-and-a-half years in prison.

The full-freeway closure of US-45 southbound lasted approximately five-and-a-half hours while deputies reversed traffic off the freeway, cleared the scene and conducted the crash scene investigation.

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21 comments

  • diane

    Leave a little early. .now alot of lives changed forever….and a life lost. …people drive like maniacs…hopefully this will make some drivers take notice. ..so very sad and tragic

    • El gato

      You are one of the few who seem to understand the facts! Use seat belts, no ejection, and likely no deaths! The reckless drivers is a maniac, but the guys in the truck were careless and stupid. They are not responsible for the crash, but they are responsible for their ejections!

  • R

    I can’t believe all this traffic in front of *ME*! Don’t they know *I* have places to be? Why don’t they get out of *MY* way? I’m already doing 75 through a 50mph construction zone!

  • Karen Wink

    Unfortunately the two gents in the pickup made a decision to break the law by not wearing their seat belts. Then this idiot driver killed them so he could get to the doc. People…wear seatbelts not because of YOUR driving but because of the others out there. Defensive driving includes wearing seat belts. Protect yourselves against the bozos who are driving offensively. How sad.

  • Dwight

    Slower traffic should keep to the right, if this guy wasn’t weaving in and out of traffic this would have never happened. Move over and drive 5 miles per hour under the speed limit in the lanes not meant for passing. I wouldn’t be surprised if the pick up was driving slow and sped up as this guy tried to pass him. Now you’re dead.

    • Jeff Scheibe

      This spot is the start of a construction zone with lower speeds & narrow lanes. There is no excuse for driving the way he did, including drivers who don’t understand the meaning of the word “limit” and think their wants and needs trump everyone elses.

    • chaz

      Mentalities like yours, Dwight, is what causes accidents like this. If that were me, and I died because of someone’s wreckless driving, three beautiful children would be without a mother. I pray every time I get on the road.

    • jake

      Mr. Jones just had his license reinstated after losing it for-surprise- going 30+ mph over the speed limit and driving without insurance. Those and his reckless driving are the facts. Now Dennis’ friends and family will suffer the loss of a great father, husband, and friend. Mr. Jones is still late for his appointment.

  • H

    Holy victim-blaming! I’m pretty shocked by that… I have nothing else to say cause I’m actually quite speechless at the moment…

  • LEOPOLD LIECHTENSTEIN IV

    This is totally unacceptable behavior. I feel bad for the decedent. So, What is the profile for someone driving a Buick.. it’s either an old person or a black person. Let’s not be PC here. State the facts and name the perp tell us like it is, is just like the shootin protestors vants the name.. Here in Vaduz ve drive alot of Audi and BMW and Mercedes and Volvo. No Buick allowed. So he vent to see his psychiatrist and ended up seeing his Proctologist.

    • Robert

      What the f*** does it matter who drove the Buick? Someone lost their life due to someone’s reckless driving and you want to “profile” the person who drove the car? Someone died you inconsiderate jag.

      • LEOPOLD THE IV

        It’s aweful that someone lost their life. My sincere condolence.
        All I meant was that buicks are driven by someone that could have a short temper, either becuase they are old and crotchity or tee’d off they are driving a sub par vechicle. Someone in a higher performance vechicle would have more diligence and pride in keeping his vechicle under control. But then it’s just an opinion.

  • El gato

    The death was likely the result of not wearing seatbelt, so the driver who causes the crash will never be convicted of homicide…and he shouldn’t be. Reckless driving is the proper charge.

    • JC

      You’re right they’ll never convict on the felony just because of the seat belt. I feel sorry for the deceased and I believe the fine should be doubled for the driver that caused this.

      • Jeff Scheibe

        When in doubt, it never hurts to go back to the official source on rules of the road. Here is a relevant excerpt from the Wisconsin Motorists’ Handbook:

        «Speed limits are posted on many roads. Posted speed limits do not tell you at what
        speed you should drive. They only say you cannot go faster than the speed shown.
        By law, you must go slower if conditions make the posted speed unsafe.
        It is illegal to exceed the posted speed limit. Racing on the highway and driving recklessly
        are not allowed. You may not exceed the speed limit to pass another vehicle.
        Speeding does not save you much time. If you travel 20 miles
        at 66 mph in a 55 mph zone, you only save 3.6 minutes. You can be stopped and ticketed, in
        which case you would lose more than 3.6 minutes, and you will be assessed points and a fine.
        Note: Wisconsin law says you must not drive so slowly that you interfere with the normal and reasonable movement of traffic. You can be ticketed for impeding traffic. Some highways have minimum posted speed limits.» (p. 30)

        The posted speed limits are not friendly suggestions; they are the legal speed limits. We all know that, culturally and unofficially, such limits are often violated, and such violations are often tolerated. We can argue all we want about who should be in which lane when, and we can justify our behaviors with all sorts of arguments based on personal experience and cultural convention, but the Handbook makes it clear: the posted speed limit is the official maximum, and one can in fact drive below that limit and above any posted minimums. The “note” at the end of the snippet might be seen as justification for the speed freaks, but I don’t think I’ve ever been in a situation where 65 MPH has been the *minimum* for “normal and reasonable movement of traffic” on a Wisconsin highway.

    • jake

      I guess the next time there’s a shooting and a stray bullet enters a child, you will not blame the shooter, but the child that should have stayed in the house… I guess nobody is responsible for an action that directly results in the death of an innocent person.

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