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1 year in prison for man charged after serious crash; officials say he was distracted for “prolonged period”

Sean Gleason

NEW BERLIN — An Oconomowoc man convicted in connection with a serious crash that occurred back in September of 2015, which happened when investigators say he was “distracted for a prolonged period of time” and speeding, has been sentenced to prison.

29-year-old Sean Gleason in May was found guilty by a jury on one count of reckless driving, causing great bodily harm.

In court on Thursday, July 27th, Gleason was sentenced to serve one year in prison and two years extended supervision. Additionally, his license has been revoked for a year.

The crash occurred on September 18th, 2015 on S. Moorland Road/W. Ryerson Road in New Berlin, and it involved a black Nissan and a silver GMC Sierra. Both vehicles were found in the northbound lanes of Moorland Road upon arrival of emergency crews.

The GMC was found with significant damage to its front end, and that front end was resting on the rear of the Nissan.

The Nissan’s driver was trapped inside, and was having difficulty breathing, according to a criminal complaint in this case. That driver was removed from his vehicle and transported to the hospital via Flight for Life.

Officials say Gleason was driving the GMC.

According to the complaint, Gleason told officials he was driving on Moorland Road, and he was adjusting his radio controls, when something fell near his feet. He indicated that he reached down to move that object, and when he looked up again, he saw the Nissan. Gleason said he was unable to avoid hitting the Nissan.

Gleason indicated he may have been traveling at speeds of 30-35 miles-per-hour.

The complaint says a witness indicated he observed the Nissan stopped at a red light on Moorland Road when a truck hit the Nissan. This witness indicated the truck didn’t seem to slow down prior to hitting the Nissan.

A woman who was following Gleason’s truck told investigators she had observed the pickup truck come close to driving into other lanes of traffic, and she believed the truck’s driver wasn’t paying attention. She estimated Gleason’s speed to be between 40-45 miles-per-hour.

The Nissan’s driver suffered a traumatic brain injury and spine fractures as a result of the crash. The complaint indicates he will require long-term medical care with “a maximum level of assistance.”

The complaint says investigators were able to retrieve the “black box data” from Gleason’s vehicle. Using data from the vehicle’s “Airbag Control Module,” investigators learned Gleason’s vehicle was traveling at 50 miles-per-hour at the time of impact. The brakes were not activated before the crash occurred.

Based on witness statements and the information learned by investigators, it was determined that Gleason was distracted for a prolonged period of time before the crash, according to the complaint.

Because of that, and the serious injuries to the Nissan’s driver, Gleason was arrested for reckless driving, causing great bodily harm.