MILWAUKEE -- A 36-year-old Milwaukee man now faces 13 felony charges in connection with a wrong-way driving incident that happened early on Sunday, June 19th. The accused is Chaze Biami.
Biami now faces the following felony charges:
- Injury by intoxicated use of a vehicle (great bodily harm), habitual criminality repeater (three counts)
- Injury by intoxicated use of a vehicle (great bodily harm - PAC), habitual criminality repeater (three counts)
- Second degree reckless injury, habitual criminality repeater (three counts)
- Second degree recklessly endangering safety, habitual criminality repeater
- Knowingly operate motor vehicle while suspended - cause great bodily harm (three counts)
The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) indicated in a news release that Biami entered I-43 northbound from the Fond du Lac exit ramp around 4:30 a.m. -- and struck another vehicle head-on at I-43 northbound at Wells St.
"Two cars hit each other and then they hit the barrier. There's a woman and child still in the car. She's pretty injured," said a 911 caller.
911 PHONE CALLS MADE IN WAKE OF WRONG-WAY DRIVING INCIDENT
"I believe the car is like, on fire because I see smoke coming from the car. It's a two-car accident. Nobody is moving in the cars. Nobody got out," said a 911 caller.
28-year-old Kathleen Mathews from Illinois was driving a blue Ford Escort -- and was struck by Biami's vehicle, Sheriff's officials said.
Mathews was initially found to be pulseless and not breathing. She had to be extricated from her vehicle. She was taken to Froedtert Hospital with serious injuries including broken ribs, kidney hematoma, a fractured right arm, fractures of both legs and an injury to her right lung. She was placed in a medically-induced coma at the hospital.
Mathews' daughters, ages three and five, were also in the car restrained in booster seats. The five-year-old girl suffered cuts as well as pelvic and internal injuries. The three-year-old girl had a broken collarbone, cuts and internal injuries.
According to the criminal complaint, a deputy on the scene "detected a strong odor of alcohol emitting from (Biami's) breath. Biami admitted drinking and stated that he drank "not that much." The complaint also says based on Biami's injuries, "he was unable to complete field sobriety tests." Officials say Biami tested a .14 on the PBT. He did not have a valid driver’s license. Biami was taken to a hospital for cuts and a fractured ankle.
During a police interview, the complaint says Biami "stated that he had two double shots of Patron and that he last remembered being on Fond du Lac Ave." He stated that "he thought he was in a 'fender bender.'"
A search of his vehicle found several "Patron tags" attached to Biami's steering wheel, according to the complaint.
When told of the felonies he faced, Biami allegedly told a deputy: "10 felonies. Man, I guess I'll have to take a deal for like, what -- three years?"
Biami also received citations for DUI-1st offense and drive wrong way on divided highway.
The northbound freeway was shut down at the Marquette Interchange for approximately three hours for the crash investigation.