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New Richmond woman charged in fatal crash

Bailey S. Martin

A New Richmond woman accused of driving drunk at the time of a Somerset-area crash that killed her passenger was charged last week in St. Croix County Circuit Court.

Prosecutors charged 25-year-old Bailey S. Martin with one count of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle.

Martin appeared in court Friday, where she waived a preliminary hearing in the case.

Authorities allege Martin was behind the wheel of an Oct. 24 crash on Highway 64 that left 24-year-old Osceola resident Jordan M. Cloutier dead.

According to a criminal complaint:

St. Croix County deputies responded at 6:56 p.m. to a single-vehicle crash on the south side of Highway 64 just west of 85th Street in the town of Somerset.

A deputy arrived to find a woman performing CPR on a male crash victim who was believed to have been ejected from a Dodge Durango. The victim, later identified as Cloutier, was pronounced dead at the scene about 20 minutes later.

The deputy spoke to Martin, who was on the scene, and detected a strong smell of alcohol. He reported her speech was slurred and her eyes appeared red and glossy.

In an interview with the officer, Martin said she had been drinking at the Outpost Bar since mid-afternoon. She admitted to drinking five beers and a shot.

“Bailey told me that she was determined to be the most sober out of the friends, so she drove,” the deputy stated in his report.

The deputy conducted a preliminary breath test on Martin, which revealed a 0.18 blood-alcohol content.

Martin said she was on her way to drop off Cloutier in downtown New Richmond at the time of the crash.

One witness reported seeing the Durango swerve sharply to the right before entering the ditch and overturning multiple times. Another witness reported seeing the vehicle weave from lane to lane before going into the ditch.

Martin told police she was eastbound on Highway 64 when Cloutier said her name and exclaimed “deer!”

“At that point she freaked out and jerked the steering wheel,” the complaint states. “Bailey said she attempted to correct the steering, but over-corrected and lost control of the vehicle.”

Martin, described as “extremely cooperative” during interactions with law enforcement after the incident, told deputies she was wearing her seat belt at time of the crash. Authorities said Cloutier was not buckled up.

Defense attorney Daniel Chapman said at Friday’s hearing that Martin will be entering an inpatient treatment program for more than 30 days. St. Croix County Circuit Court Judge Edward Vlack set the next hearing for Dec. 1.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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