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81 in a 35: Prosecutors say man blamed fatal crash on vehicle’s ‘mechanical problems’

Joseph Cushingberry

MILWAUKEE — A Milwaukee man is facing homicide charges in connection with a fatal crash that happened near Green Bay and Glendale on the afternoon of June 24.

Joseph Cushingberry, 23, of Milwaukee faces one count of homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle.

According to a criminal complaint, around 3 p.m., police responded to the scene — where there was a crash involving two vehicles. A Toyota was found with extensive damage in the grass on the northeast corner of the intersection. The driver, a 69-year-old woman, was taken to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

A Chevrolet Monte Carlo was found resting on its driver’s side in the grass at the northeast corner of the intersection. The driver, identified as Cushingberry, was taken to the hospital for a blood draw.

The complaint notes that the traffic signal at the northeast corner of the intersection was destroyed by the impact of the crash, and there was approximately 50 feet of pre-impact tire marks on the roadway in the right lane on Green Bay. An investigation revealed the Chevrolet was headed northbound and had struck the Toyota on the passenger side. The complaint says the tire marks were made by the Chevrolet as Cushingberry applied the brakes and locked the tires.

Fatal crash near Green Bay and Glendale

Several witnesses were located, with one indicating he spotted the Chevrolet northbound on Green Bay traveling at a high rate of speed. A silver vehicle southbound was making a left turn onto Green Bay when the witness “heard a loud crash,” which was “so violent, he felt it physically in his own vehicle.”

The complaint says Cushingberry admitted he’d been driving the Chevrolet Monte Carlo, and said there were mechanical problems, including bad brakes. He said the vehicle could not be driven faster than 45 miles-per-hour due to the mechanical problems. He denied he was speeding, and said the traffic signal was flashing yellow as he approached the intersection. He said the rear bumper of his vehicle was even with the traffic lights at the intersection when the Toyota pulled out in front of him.

Fatal crash near Green Bay and Glendale

Investigators were able to recover information from the Monte Carlo’s airbag control module which indicated the vehicle was traveling at 81 miles-per-hour in the 35 miles-per-hour zone at the time of the crash.

An autopsy revealed the victim died as a result of multiple blunt force injuries.

Cushingberry made his initial appearance in court on June 29. A preliminary hearing was set for July 9. Cash bond was set at $3,000.