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Marshfield man charged in a crash that killed baby in Amish buggy

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A Marshfield man is due back in court Tuesday, after he was accused of rear-ending an Amish buggy with his mini-van and killing a baby girl.

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A $10,000 cash bond was ordered Thursday for Brian Witkus, 49, after he was charged in Marathon County with negligent homicide.

Police said Elizabeth Miller of Chili was holding her six-week-old daughter Ada in her lap as their horse-drawn buggy traveled on a busy Marshfield street Wednesday. Both were ejected in the crash, and the mother landed on the infant.

According to prosecutors, Witkus gave police two versions of what happened. He apparently told one officer he had taken the painkiller Hydrocodone earlier, and he blinked just before hitting the buggy.

Another officer was told that Witkus was reaching for a book on the floor of his mini-van.

He claimed he never saw the Amish buggy or its orange slow-moving vehicle sign and his medication does not restrict his driving privileges.

A judge will decide Tuesday if Witkus qualifies for a state public defender. On Wednesday, the court will decide if there's enough evidence to order a trial.

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