JEFFERSON COUNTY — 30-year-old Clint Stork of Fort Atkinson is now charged in connection with a bus crash that happened in the Town of Hebron on July 8, 2016. Everyone on the bus for adults with special needs was hurt — including Stork, the driver. One of the passengers died from injuries suffered in the wreck.
Stork faces the following charges:
- Homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle
- Second-degree reckless injury ( 7 counts)
Officials with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office say the bus was traveling westbound on Highway 106 just west of Johnson Rd. when it crossed the center line and went into a ditch — striking a utility pole.
According to the criminal complaint, Stork told a deputy on the scene that “he fell asleep while driving. When the bus left the roadway and struck a driveway, he woke up. The next thing he remembered was being in the crash.”
The complaint indicates investigators received permission from the owner of the bus to check the vehicle’s Restraint Control Module (RCM). The device showed “the vehicle slowed minimally before the crash until 3.0 seconds before the crash when the speed then increased to 71.5 mph and the RPM increased to 2400.” Investigators said “this information is consistent with the rear wheels of the vehicle leaving the ground briefly while it traveled over a driveway culvert.” The RCM also shows the brakes were not applied before the crash — which is consistent with Stork’s statement that he fell asleep while driving.
When a detective asked Stork if he had any alcohol, illegal drugs or prescription drugs on July 8th, the complaint says Stork said no. The complaint goes on to say Stork “went to bed at approximately 1:00 a.m. and awake at 5:30 a.m. He said the night before, he saw a band at a bar across the street from his residence. He had a few drinks while at the bar, but he stopped drinking early, knowing he had to get up for work.” Stork was asked “if he felt drunk or buzzed after he left the bar and the defendant stated no, just tired.” An analysis of Stork’s blood show his blood alcohol concentration was .02, the complaint indicates.
The complaint indicates when investigators went through Stork’s personal phone, “there were a total of 25 text messages in the phone which referenced alcohol. There were also messages which (a detective), based on his training and experience, believed referred to marijuana.” When Stork was asked if he used any other type of drugs, the defendant said , ‘No, last time used marijuana was less than a year ago or several months.'” Three days later, however, the complaint says Stork told a detective “he had used marijuana approximately a week prior to the crash.”
Stork told investigators he had worked for the bus company for almost three years.
The bus was headed to a place called “Opportunities” in Fort Atkinson. It is a day center and work program for people with disabilities.
The homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle charge comes with a maximum ten years in prison and $25,000 in fines. The reckless injury charge comes with a maximum penalty of 12.5 years in prison and $25,000 in fines.