“They’re going to lock me up:” North Prairie woman charged in crash that killed motorcyclist

WAUKESHA COUNTY — 28-year-old Rebecca Wankowski of North Prairie faces multiple charges in connection with a fatal crash that happened in the Town of Eagle on Thursday, September 8th.

Rebecca Wankowski

Rebecca Wankowski

Wankowski faces the following charges:

  • Homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle
  • Operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated — 3rd offense
  • Misdemeanor bail jumping

21-year-old Spencer Twining of Janesville, who was riding a motorcycle, was killed in the crash that took on Highway 59 near Road X in Eagle. The crash occurred Thursday evening.

According to the criminal complaint, Wankowski was traveling in a white pickup truck headed west on State Highway 59 near Road X, when the truck drifted over onto shoulder side gravel before swerving into the eastbound lane and colliding with an oncoming motorcycle.

The crash killed the motorcyclist, UW-Whitewater student Spencer Twining.

28-year-old Rebecca Wankowski has been charged in his death and authorities say this is her third OWI offense.

According to the criminal complaint, after the crash, Wankowski was "visibly upset and hysterical," and a sheriff's deputy was unable to continue speaking with her on site. She was taken to the hospital for assessment and on the ride over, the criminal complaint says she was heard talking on the phone, saying "they're going to lock me up" and "I killed him."

The criminal complaint states Wankowski also said "my life was finally getting back on track... I never should have left."

A preliminary breath test showed Wankowski's alcohol level was twice the legal limit.

Wankowski was previously convicted of operating while intoxicated in May 2011 and July 2011.

If convicted on the most serious of the three charges, Wankowski faces up to 25 years in prison and $100,000 in fines.

Wankowski is due in court on September 19th.

UW-Whitewater says it is planning to fly the school flag at half mast on Sunday in honor of Twining.

A celebration of life ceremony is scheduled for Sunday afternoon in the university's volleyball arena.

23 comments

  • Opinion8d

    Absolutely Tragic! Young man loses his life because she hasn’t learned her lesson from the two previous OWI convictions. I hope she spends a long time in prison!!!

  • Marie

    All I am saying, is don’t be so quick to judge a book by its covers, because I’m sure none of yours are perfect either. People make mistakes, and sometimes it’s a hard lesson.

    • Kim

      You are sticking up for this person? She killed someone I know. I’m sorry but this is her 3 OWI, she obviously didn’t learn her lesson the first or second time. Now Spencer will not be able to finish his senior year of college, won’t get to graduate, won’t get to get a job, have a family, and grow old!

    • Cb

      You say ‘the facts aren’t even out yet’ and ‘social media picks and chooses what to post’. This is a NEWS article that states that the driver’s alcohol level was twice the legal limit. THAT IS A FACT!

    • Katie

      Here are the facts:
      More than twice the legal limit but decided to get into her car and drive anyways.
      3rd OWI in 5 years
      Killed a young, healthy, educated, productive, talented and intelligent young man.
      A mother will never see her young son again. A father has lost his son. Brothers lost their other brother. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends all lost a what appears to be a wonderful young man with a bright future. So yes, I’m judging. My history isn’t spotless but I have never killed anyone nor have I driven around drunk. This drunk didn’t make a “mistake”, she killed someone because she was too selfish to consider the consequences of her actions. A mistake is forgetting to add baking soda to your cookie recipe. She deserves harsh judgement and I hope the court system throws the book at her.

  • dylan

    who suffers from the hard lesson Marie… the dead 21 year old…no one has the right to drink and drive if you choose to do so…and then murder someone else because you made the choice.. well then take the punishment..I hope she goes away for the maximum but first she should have to go to his funeral.. or maybe not she should have to watch a video of his funeral every year she lives…. and if she owns anything I hope she loses it in a lawsuit…!!!! she is a murderer that use a car and alcohol as a lethal weapon,,this wasn’t her first rodeo

    • Marie

      I agree, it’s a terrible situation, and no one ever deserves to die from it. And yes she should be punished, 25 years is a bit much. It was an accident, and something if you look at it from a different perspective, that she will live with and relive with the rest of her life. This can happen to anyone and I think this is tragic for everyone involved. That is all I have to say.

      • Pasta Craig

        No Marie, it really can’t happen to anyone. It can happen to people who CHOOSE (key word here) to drink and drive.

      • Marie

        Yes it can I have a lot of friends I’ve lost from car accidents that didn’t involve drinking. It happens either way.

      • Dylan

        How long is Spencers sentence marie? He got life…did he deserve.that so whats 25 years..her family still gets to see her…any comment Marie

      • J J

        Marie, you must be a friend or family member of this girl or just plain ignorant. I would like to see how you would react if someone killed one of your family members by getting behind the wheel after drinking excessively. This is a light sentence for ruining the lives of this boys family. How dare you make excuses these kinds of actions? The laws on drinking and driving in this state need to change. She obviously didn’t learn the first 2 times. Maybe if the punishment for drinking and driving was more hash people would think before getting behind the wheel. Prayers for this boys family! I couldn’t imagine loosing my son to such nonsense.

      • Marie

        Let’s go with ignorant, it’s fitting for the comments of people on this post. I don’t care to comment anymore. The facts aren’t even figured out with yet, and social media picks and chooses pieces to present. I’m over this comment section. Everyone has different thoughts, experiences, opinions, and I don’t care, this isn’t my problem either way. It’s tragic for all parties. Have a nice life, I hope nothing like this happens to you or or family in the future, don’t drink and drive!

      • rebelrocker84

        Accident my ass! This woman did not accidentally get drunk and then accidentally get behind the wheel. Marie you need to shut the hell up and stop defending this piece of trash. You bleeding heart liberals make me sick.

      • Katie

        Marie, an accident is something you can’t foresee. This was no accident. This was a risk that the drunk woman decided (yes it was her decision) to take and she killed a young man in the process. And accident is falling down the stairs. An accident is running a red light. She INTENTIONALLY got into her car impaired and knew that there could easily be consequences. She is a selfish drunk and a repeat offender.

  • Suzanne

    I would hazard a guess that Marie is either a troll or indeed one that is so far left so as to be able to look “objectively” at the BLM terrorist attack at Sherman Park as well as to be able to defend a muderer.
    Unfortunately there are a ton of Maries in Milwaukee.

  • deletedagain

    I read these comments and agree with them but for some reason my comments get deleted. What I said wasn’t more derogatory than the other comments. What’s up?

  • Pasta Craig

    I am not talking about the victims of fatal crashes. You seem to be defending those who drink and drive by saying that “none of us are perfect” and “we all make mistakes.” Drinking an getting behind the wheel (for the third time I might add) is a choice, a choice that usually kills innocent people.

  • Andrew

    Spencer will be dearly missed. Spencer is one of my only and closest best friends. When I got the news on friday morning I was horrified. I knew a few facts since I knew spencer, he was : riding his motorcycle (the second one he owned, it was his bae), he was wearing a helmet ( I reminded him constantly of stories that happened to other riders ) and that it was a beautiful day (he always wanted to ride and only rode on exceptional days. Spencer was a great person and was taken away far too early. On Saturday I was looking for answers, the news articles had already come out. I wanted to know what kind of circumstances would lead someone to these choices. I didn’t find them. She was a selfish individual who was an alcoholic and took a gamble when she got into that truck that cost me my best friend. Her selfish act has taken an unspeakable toll on those in his life. I am happy and thankful to have been a part of his life as well as a part of his inner circle. I am thankful to know his family: his weird dad, his “cute” younger brother, his tough as nails older brother, his energetic puppy, his easy going mom and her few kittens. I am thankful to know his immediate family. Bottom line the laws in this state are unjustly lenient. She shouldn’t have been driving and I would have my best friend. She made her choice to drive and she knew the risks. I know she didn’t have any arrests for a few years but I know she drove drunk more than 3 times. Why couldn’t she have been too drunk to put the key in the ignition. How could she be so accustomed to driving drunk (.207) that she was able to drive a few miles until she hit and murdered spencer. I don’t drink except for the rare instance and I can tell you that I couldn’t stand up at a .207 much less drive. Why did she have to be so stupid and murder my friend. From here comments I could tell that she didn’t care to the degree necessary. She took a very special life and simply didn’t care. I loved him like a brother. I don’t have any brothers and he was the closest thing to one I had. All she could do in my mind to correct this would be to bring him back (but it won’t happen ). I just hope she pleads guilty to all of the charges and saves his family the pain of having to battle her in court. She needs to take her punishment without question. It would kill me inside to see her try and fight it for a reduced sentence but chances are she will. She won’t have to deal with not having him in your life. The happiness and light he brought to you. She won’t lose him but we will.

  • Cat

    Unfortunately, I used to work with Becky. She was ignorant and abrasive, and did not learn from her mistakes. She was openly prideful about her drinking and thought that the breathalyzer installed in her car was a joking matter. It is incredibly tragic that her recklessness cost a life. It is murder. And she should have been off the roads years ago.

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