Sheriff's deputy cited in Star Prairie, Wis., crash that seriously injured another driverJames Haefner, a St. Croix County sheriff’s deputy, has been issued a citation after losing control of his squad car and seriously injuring another driver in the Village of Star Prairie.
James Haefner, a St. Croix County sheriff’s deputy, has been issued a citation after losing control of his squad car and seriously injuring another driver in the Village of Star Prairie.
Haefner, 36, was responding to an emergency call for backup from an investigator involved in a search-warrant procedure on Oct. 21, 2010 when the accident happened. His lights and siren were active at the time of the crash.
According to a report by the Wisconsin State Patrol, Haefner’s vehicle was traveling 50 to 54 mph in a 25 mph zone. He was unable to slow and maneuver the curve at County Road H and Highway 65. Haefner’s vehicle then hopped the curb and ran though a grassy ditch before colliding with a vehicle driven by Carolyn Quenzer of Dresser.
Quenzer was air-lifted to Regions Hospital in St. Paul, Minn. and Haefner was transported by ground ambulance to Westfields Hospital following the crash.
The Wisconsin State Highway Patrol handled the investigation because of the deputy’s involvement.
Haefner claimed that the vehicle malfunctioned and began to shake before he lost control.
According to the State Patrol’s report, no such malfunction was found.
Haefner was placed on administrative leave while the crash was being investigated. He resumed his patrolling duties earlier this month.
St. Croix County has been notified of Quenzer’s intent to file a claim for injuries. As of Monday, no actual claim had yet been filed.
The notice said Quenzer, 58, received permanent injuries and wage loss because of negligent acts and omissions by Haefner, the Sheriff’s Department and the county.
Haefner was cited last month with unreasonable and imprudent speed. He has a court date of March 2 and faces a maximum penalty of $213.