“You killed two people:” A violent crash near Sherman & Burleigh this summer, and no charges will be filed

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- She caused an accident last summer that killed two people -- and now, we've learned a 62-year-old Milwaukee woman won't be charged in connection with their deaths. It's something the victims' family members aren't happy to learn.

It was July 10th. The intersection of Sherman and Burleigh was shut down after a massive wreck involving four cars. Two people lost their lives. Witnesses called it the worst crash they'd ever seen.

"I just went into a shock.  I never knew what shock meant until that," Linette Maki said.

The victims were close friends and co-workers. 52-year-old Christine Jaeger and 45-year-old Lisa Cope were carpooling. They were on their way home from work.

After learning no criminal charges will be filed against the woman accused of causing the crash, family members say they're now looking for justice.

Linette Maki is Cope's sister.

"If you do this and you are in your right mind and you consciously go through that red light when you could have stopped -- to me, justice needs to be served," Maki said.

Police say an SUV driven by a 62-year-old woman sped through a red light. A FOX6 photojournalist was a few cars behind, and actually spoke with the driver minutes after the crash. He says she told him she was stepping on the brake -- when in fact, she was pounding the gas.

"It was her only excuse at the time.  That`s the only thing she had to go with.  What else can you say?"

A representative from the District Attorney's Office says the evidence presented indicates this was an accident, and not reflective of criminal conduct. That's why no criminal charges will be filed.

Family members of the victims say the woman only received a $200 ticket for running a red light.

"I think it was an utter disregard for human life - for the responsibility you hold when you`re behind the wheel,"

That's why both families have launched an online petition to get the District Attorney to file charges. They're calling for two counts of vehicular homicide to be filed against the driver.

The petition has already received more than 600 signatures.

While it can never replace her sister's warm smile, Maki says she hopes the growing support will be something no city official can ignore.

"You killed two people.  Besides the two people that were killed, two other cars - two other people - were injured.  Unfortunately, my sister and her co-worker were the ones that didn`t make it," Maki said.

FOX6 News reached out to the driver in this case. She didn't want to comment for this story. FOX6 News isn't naming her because she faces no charges.

Family members of the victims say they're considering a civil lawsuit.

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  • rich at

    Exactly what r said. Red lights and speed limit optional. Drive like you stole it is the Milwaukee slogan.

  • Rhonda B

    You can go to change.org for Katherine Copes petition.
    It is very interesting that Millie Tellis isn’t being charged-going more than 2 times the posted speed limit and going in and out of traffic and running a red light. Justice was certainly not served.

  • Kasey

    The least they can do is take her license away if she can’t tell the difference between the brake and the gas!!!!!!!

  • Donny R

    What a disgusting thing that she is not being charged. She caused harm to many people and justice needs to be served. My friend had an accident by hydroplaning – causing no injuries to anyone else but herself and received 3 tickets. But yet this woman was recklessly driving and caused 2 deaths and 2 injuries – only one ticket? How can this be?

  • Donny R

    940.10 (1) Whoever causes the death of another human being by the negligent operation or handling of a vehicle is guilty of a Class G felony.

    Minnie Tellis made the conscious decision to be negligent while operating a vehicle. By weaving in and out of traffic, speeding and going through a red light, two innocent women’s lives were taken. Milwaukee’s district attorney, John T. Chisholm, chooses not to charge her with the crime which destroyed two families. This petition is to get that court date and the justice these two families deserve.

  • Roxanne

    Maybe now that the Hamilton case has been “resolved” the MPD won;t be so afraid to cahrge a black woman for killed 2 white women in a black neighborhood.

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