MEQUON -- A Mequon man made his initial appearance in court Monday, Dec. 30 -- nearly six months after a crash that killed a 56-year-old man in the Town of Cedarburg. Charges were filed against Adam Gertz, 19, on Dec. 23, and an arrest warrant was issued.
During his initial court appearance Monday, Gertz received a $25,000 signature bond, and a status hearing was scheduled for Jan. 13.
The crash happened on July 3 at the intersection of Granville Road and Washington Avenue (County NN). Officials with the Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Office said Gertz was headed north on Granville when he failed to stop for the stop sign at Washinton Avenue. His vehicle struck a vehicle being driven by Glenn Lewis. Lewis’ vehicle then struck Wier Financial, a nearby business. Lewis later died from his injuries.
"It happened right here, where the trunk of the other vehicle ended up there," said Brett Weir, building owner. "It was tragic. It was unfortunate. Somebody died here because of someone's carelessness or recklessness."
According to the criminal complaint against Gertz, the Ozaukee County Sheriff's Office's "Facebook page received a number of comments, one of which purported to be from an acquaintance of the passenger in the car and related that before the crash, Gertz had referenced the stop sign, saying, 'No cop, no stop.'" Investigators spoke with that passenger who "believed that Gertz was traveling fast." She told police "Gertz indicated that he was aware of the stop sign and made some comment to her of the effect of, 'I am not going to stop for that,' meaning the stop sign ahead."
Sheriff's detectives followed up on another Facebook comment from a man who lives near where the collision happened. He told authorities he "observed a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed which (he) believed was too fast for the nearby stop that (he) knew the car would be approaching."
It wasn't until Dec. 16 that the Ozaukee County Sheriff's Office received the results of speed calculations by the Wisconsin State Patrol from their crash reconstruction. The complaint said "at the time of the crash, Gertz's vehicle was traveling somewhere between 49 and 53 mph."
"This is affecting hundreds of people. He had hundreds of friends," said David Lewis, Glenn Lewis' brother, shortly after the crash. "He was simply going to the YMCA to workout, to have free time because he spent all his time working for his kids."
Shortly after the crash, those nearby jumped into action.
"I had to do something," said Beay. "I just couldn't stand there and not do nothing."
Beay held Lewis' hand before Flight for Life arrived.
"I kept telling him really squeeze my hand," said Beay. "He really squeezed it, my hand. He really squeezed it hard."
The crash made the Fourth of July holiday into one of sorrow instead of celebration.
"We have lost a husband," said David Lewis. "We have lost a father. I have lost a brother. All because someone didn't stop."
"You have to be aware of other people," said Weir. "It's been a relief that there is some justice for the person who passed away because of somebody's carelessness. Peace and closure is definitely going to help this family."