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Man faces three felonies after crash that killed a mom

October 22, 2013 | 11:56 AM
ELKHORN — A mother was killed and her child was injured when a Whitewater man, who was allegedly driving drunk at more than 90 mph, crashed into their SUV on Highway 89 in the town of Whitewater.

On Oct. 16 the Walworth County District Attorney's Office filed three felony charges against Craig M. Seefeldt, 50.

He has been charged with homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle, second-degree reckless homicide and operating while intoxicated causing injury, as a second and subsequent offense.

Click here to read the criminal complaint

Melissa J. Patrick, 40, Whitewater, was killed as a result of the crash and her 14-year-old daughter was injured.

Seefeldt is being held in the Walworth County jail in lieu of a $50,000 cash bond.

According to the criminal complaint:

On Oct. 13, a Walworth County Sheriff's Department deputy responded to a report of a crash on Highway 89 near Island Road in the town of Whitewater.

The deputy saw a Chevy Malibu parked, facing south in the northbound lane, with severe front end damage.

The deputy spoke to the child, who was in the SUV.

The girl told the deputy that her mother, Patrick, was driving and turning into her father's driveway when a car hit them from behind.

The girl had cuts on her face and said her legs hurt.

The impact of the crash caused the SUV to flip over into the ditch. Patrick was ejected from the vehicle and was pinned underneath it.

She died at the scene.

When the deputy questioned Seefeldt, Seefeldt said he didn't know what had happened.

Seefeldt told the deputy that he was driving down the road when his airbags deployed.

He also said another car hit him, and that car must have been coming from another direction. The deputy smelled alcohol on Seefeldt's breath and saw that Seefeldt's eyes were glassy and he was having difficulty keeping his balance.

Seefeldt said he drank three beers that day and was driving to a friend's home.

The deputy performed field sobriety tests on Seefeldt, which Seefeldt failed. A portable Breathalyzer test indicated that Seefeldt's blood alcohol level was 0.2 percent, which is 2.5 times higher than the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

Seefeldt was transferred to Aurora Lakeland Medical Center for a blood draw.

Initially, Seefeldt refused the blood draw. However, deputies had a warrant to take his blood, and, after several additional deputies arrived, Seefeldt allowed the blood draw.

Precrash data reports indicate that just seconds before the crash Seefeldt was driving at 91 mph.

The speed limit is 55 mph at that location on Highway 89. Prior to impact, Seefeldt's vehicle was traveling at 63 mph, according to the report.

A deputy at the crash noted that despite the damage to Patrick's SUV, the turn signal was still blinking.


Tags: Crime

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