Fourth passenger dies as alleged drunken driver in Fitchburg crash remains hospitalized, police sayA Madison man who fled the scene of a fatal crash Saturday in Fitchburg has been arrested and tentatively charged with four counts of homicide by drunken driving after a fourth passenger died Sunday in a local hospital, authorities reported.
By: The Wisconsin State Journal, Superior Telegram
A Madison man who fled the scene of a fatal crash Saturday in Fitchburg has been arrested and tentatively charged with four counts of homicide by drunken driving after a fourth passenger died Sunday in a local hospital, authorities reported.
More charges are expected against the driver, 18-year-old Victor H. Benitez, Fitchburg police said in a news release.
Benitez had not been booked at the county jail as of Sunday evening and remained hospitalized for non-life-threatening injuries sustained in the crash.
Police said the crash happened just after 5 p.m. Saturday when a van traveling east at high speed on Lacy Road did not stop at a stop sign on Syene Road, went airborne as it crossed railroad tracks, and hit a utility pole before rolling over.
Four people were thrown from the van. Police said three died at the scene despite efforts by police and paramedics. The fourth victim was taken by helicopter to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries and died Sunday.
Police said autopsies were conducted Sunday and the names of the victims would be released by the Dane County Medical Examiner's Office on Monday.
Police said Benitez was not ejected from the van and left the scene. He was found a few blocks away and taken by ambulance to a local hospital. He was arrested and tentatively charged with three counts of homicide by drunken driving early Sunday morning. Police announced another tentative count Sunday evening following the fourth passenger's death.
In the legal system, police can request charges but prosecutors actually file charges.
Fitchburg police Sgt. Don Bomkamp said Saturday that all five of those involved were male and believed to be young adults. Police said none of the occupants were believed to be wearing a seat belt.
Witnesses told police the five men had been at nearby McGaw Park before the crash.
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