CHARGED: 69-year-old man, in connection with hit-and-run involving pregnant woman

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RACINE COUNTY (WITI) -- 69-year-old Dean Cepukenas of Racine has been officially charged in connection with a hit-and-run incident that seriously injured a pregnant woman who was walking alongside her three-year-old daughter on Election Night Tuesday, November 4th.

Cepukenas faces two charges of hit-and-run causing great bodily harm, and one charge of felony hit-and-run causing injury. He made his initial appearance in court on Thursday.

"Each one of those counts independently subjects (Cepukenas) to a fine not to exceed $50,000, imprisonment not to exceed 15 years, or both," Racine County District Attorney Richard Chiapete said.

Genie Webb

Genie Webb

A criminal complaint filed against Cepukenas says 31-year-old Genie Webb, who was 38 weeks pregnant, was dropped off by her boyfriend, Daniel Mitchell to vote at the Lakeview Community Center on Tuesday evening, November 4th.

While she was voting, Mitchell went to fill up with gasoline at the Citgo gas station on N. Main Street in Racine.

While he was replacing his gas cap, Mitchell heard a scream and noticed a woman lying in the street. He approached to investigate, and realized the woman was Webb. Her three-year-old daughter was nearby. They had been struck by a car that had left the scene without stopping to render aid.

Racine police were able to obtain surveillance video from the Citgo gas station on N. Main which showed the striking vehicle and Webb and her daughter walking westbound on Goold Street -- approaching N. Main.

The complaint says the surveillance video shows Webb appear to push the button for the "walk" signal, and when the traffic signal turned green, the "walk" signal was illuminated. Webb and her daughter then began to cross N. Main in a crosswalk. That's when they were struck -- as the striking vehicle was making a left turn to head northbound on N. Main.

The surveillance video shows the striking vehicle stop momentarily before continuing northbound on N. Main.

Police say Genie Webb was in critical condition following the incident. She was taken to the hospital, where an emergency C-section was performed to deliver her baby.

The criminal complaint says Webb required 14 units of blood, and nearly bled to death at the hospital.

The baby was delivered and was initially not breathing, according to the complaint. Medical professionals had to work on him in order for him to survive.

Genie Webb

Genie Webb

Webb's three-year-old daughter sustained back pain and a scrape to her ankle.

One day after the hit-and-run incident, video was broadcast on local news stations as police asked for help identifying and locating the striking driver.

The complaint says police received a phone call from Dean Cepukenas' wife, who informed police she had seen the news, and thought police might be looking for her husband.

Police spoke with Dean Cepukenas over the phone. He told police he was headed down Goold when he made a left turn onto N. Main -- saying he heard a "shout" and looked back. Seeing no one, Dean Cepukenas told police he went home, according to the complaint.

Police took a look at Dean Cepukenas' vehicle, and observed a scrape on the passenger side of the front bumper and the plastic outer bumper slightly popped out of its tabs.

The complaint says Dean Cepukenas told police he was golfing on Tuesday afternoon, before going to a sports bar and then a restaurant.

Near the end of Thursday's court appearance, Webb's mother had some words with the accused.

"Normally, I'm not the type that's gonna get upset like that, but it just was...I was overwhelmed. I seen the tape and I seen it at the gas station -- the whole thing, and it's no way this was an accident. He seen them. I seen the impact -- so that right there, I never want to see it again," Tracy Webb said.

Genie Webb’s family is asking for donations to help with medical bills. They have created a “Go Fund Me” page in her honor.

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7 comments

  • Q

    I have sympathy for all involved including the driver. I turn that corner every day and I also drive a highlander. First lets be aware of what we are wearing at night in the dark. If you want to be sure you are visible, wear light colored clothing and don’t assume you are visible, at any time, by drivers. There is a large blind spot in highlanders, and most SUVs I’m sure, on the sides of the front window, and it’s very possible that she could have been in that blind spot as he was turning. And, with the glare of lights on that corner, if you have any trouble with night vision you will be impaired. So, not defending anyone, just saying we can’t assume to know anything at this point, and I’m sure it’s an awful situation all around.

  • Kim

    It’s a very sad situation, and I’m glad that mother, daughter, and baby are going to be alright. However, for someone to insinuate that it was done on purpose is wrong. She wasn’t there, so she doesn’t know, and you can’t possibly tell that from the video. Nor does anyone know he was drunk, again, you weren’t there. It’s no wonder John Doe doesn’t use their real name, considering their vulgar language.

  • ML

    Glad to hear mom and babies are OK. If the driver had been some teenage kid the comments here would be a lot different…

  • valdez sherard

    All intersections have a street light and it is very bright, this is not in the middle of the block ladies and gentlements. The gas station video that was shown to the public was very grainy, but in reality the gas station video was in high definition quality. That something we didn’t see, only the authority and the pregnant lady mom. as for blind spots, the blind spot most important are the ones from cars not seen in your side view mirrors. not from the front of your car when you are making a turn at a corner. while you are you waiting for the light to turn green, so you can make any turn at a crosswalk. don’t you look for pedestrian standing at crosswalk, whlie you are sitting there waiting for the light beforehand? so as you approach you know they are coming and they are there. don’t you look at the crosswalk before anything gets in your blind spot? especially when you make this turn so many times and you know you’re Highlander has a front blind spot. how many turns does it take to know thatyour car has a blind spot in the front? now this is funny, he said he heard a woman screaming, then he stop, didn’t see nothing, then he signal to get back in traffic. What TRAFFIC!! There was a pregnant lady and a 3 year old baby in the middle of the street down on the ground. To make a comment like that to the police you must be drunk. and dig this through the investigation the sport bar he was at, did have their security cameras on that night.

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