Probation for driver who told investigators “he fell asleep” before crashing bus carrying adults with special needs

Clint Stork

JEFFERSON COUNTY — A man who told investigators “he fell asleep” while driving a bus for adults with special needs has been sentenced to serve probation. The crash happened on July 8th, 2016, and one of the passengers died.

31-year-old Clint Stork on September 7th pleaded no contest to the following charges:

  • Homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle
  • Second degree reckless injury
  • Second degree recklessly endangering safety

Four other charges were dismissed as a result of the plea deal.

Stork was then sentenced to serve five years probation, and nine months conditional jail time with work release (to begin on September 11th). This, on each of the three charges. The sentences are to be served concurrently — so Stork will serve a total of five years probation.

Officials with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said the bus was traveling westbound on Highway 106 just west of Johnson Road 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.”

Bus crash Jefferson County

Bus crash Jefferson County

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.

Bus crash Jefferson County

Bus crash Jefferson County

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.”

Bus crash Jefferson County

Bus crash Jefferson County

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.