Thomas R. Edgren, 51, Wild Rose, was charged in Waupaca County with a fifth drunken driving offense.
Shortly after 11 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 8, Deputy Bryan Strobusch responded to a vehicle-power pole crash report from Wisconsin Public Service.
When he arrived at Oakland Drive north of Haas Road in Farmington, Strobusch found a WPS crew working to repair a busted utility pole. A severely damaged pickup truck was also at the scene. It appeared that the truck went off the road, hit the pole, then slammed into a tree.
The driver was no longer at the scene. However, Strobusch noticed large boot prints in the snow leading away from the crash.
Dispatch identified Edgren as the owner of the truck. Strobush called Edgren, who returned with his wife to the scene.
According to the criminal complaint, Edgren said his wife had been driving the vehicle. Strobusch spoke to the wife while Edgren waited inside his car.
While questioning the wife, Strobusch noted that her feet did not appear large enough to have made the boot prints in the snow.
She reportedly said Edgren had told her to tell the police that she had been driving, the complaint says, but she did not want to lie.
She said Edgren had been late returning home and when she called his cell phone, he said he had put the vehicle in the ditch, according to police.
Strobusch then questioned Edgren, who police say later admitted to driving at the time of the crash, which occurred an estimated hour to 45 minutes earlier.
A preliminary breath test indicated that Edgren had a 0.176 blood-alcohol level.