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“Shouldn’t happen:” Hartland man who said he was ‘super drunk’ charged in fatal boat crash on Lake Nagawicka

Anthony Drewes

WAUKESHA COUNTY -- Waukesha County boaters are taking extra precautions out on the water after a fatal crash on Lake Nagawicka Friday, August 11th. A Hartland man is accused of crashing his boat into another boat -- killing a woman.

Prosecutors believe alcohol is to blame for the crash.

53-year-old Anthony Drewes has been charged with homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle. Witnesses say the boat was traveling at 20 to 25 miles-per-hour when it collided with the other boat.

"You just don't hear about it that often, so just that it happened so close to home and the lake that you're on multiple times a year, is just kind of nerve-racking," said Dylan Moore, who was out on the water Tuesday, August 15th.

Just before 6:00 p.m. on August 11th,  61-year-old Jill Ladwig was on a pontoon boat with her husband, when they were struck by another boat. She suffered blunt force trauma and drowned. A criminal complaint says the driver of the striking boat, Drewes, admitted to responding officers that he was "super drunk."

Lake Nagawicka

"That sort of thing is scary. It shouldn't happen. It's a big lake," said Paul Dusterhoft.

The incident has left long-time boaters like Dusterhoft saddened and confused.

"I'm not sure why the accident happened -- why the people that got hit didn't see it coming, but who knows?" said Dusterhoft.

The complaint says officers observed the damage was consistent with a boat T-boning the pontoon boat and then driving over it.

Lake Nagawicka

Lake Nagawicka

Moore said the tragedy is a sobering reminder to stay vigilant behind the wheel -- even in a boat.

"You just always assume that the other drivers are being safe and you're being safe, but you just can never be too careful," said Moore.

The complaint states Drewes failed his field sobriety test and initially denied driving the boat at the time of the crash, but later admitted he did it.

Drewes made his initial appearance in this case on August 14th. A preliminary hearing was set for September 1st, and cash bond was set at $10,000.

Lake Nagawicka