Car travelled wrong way on U.S. 10
A deputy pursued a vehicle 5.7 miles after 911 callers reported seeing it going the wrong way on U.S. 10.
Ashley C. Raether, 24, Almond, is charged with first-degree reckless endangerment and fleeing an officer.
At 1:34 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19, Waupaca County Sheriff’s Deputy Chad Repinski heard dispatch say 911 callers were reporting a car traveling east on the westbound lanes of U.S. Highway 10 between the two Fremont exits.
Repinski was on another call in Weyauwega and knew there were no other officers in the area. He responded immediately.
“I knew part of that stretch to have a cement wall barrier making the potential of a head-on collision even greater,” Repinski said in his report.
Dispatch advised the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office, but they also had no officers in the immediate area.
As Repinski continued east at a high rate of speed, trying to catch up with the vehicle he saw what appeared to be red taillights in the wrong lanes in the distance.
More people continued calling 911, first describing the car as a black Pontiac Bonneville, then as a red Pontiac Grand Prix.
At 1:47 a.m., another caller said his vehicle was almost struck by an eastbound driver in the westbound lanes on U.S. 10 near the Winchester exit to U.S. Highway 45 south.
As Repinski approached the Winchester area, he saw a red Pontiac stopped in the median between the lanes. Tire tracks in the grass seemed to indicate the car had just crossed over from the westbound lanes.
A woman opened the driver’s side door.
“As I pulled up behind and stopped my squad with my emergency lights illuminated, the female pulled the door shut,” Repinski reported.
The Pontiac then took off, heading east in the eastbound lanes. Repinski followed.
According to the criminal complaint, the Pontiac reached speeds over 100 mph, drove erratically and almost struck a median guardrail at Fairview Road.
Repinski was advised to terminate the pursuit. He pulled over at the State Highway 76 exit, turned off his emergency lights and watched the vehicle’s taillights fade into the night.
The 5.7-mile pursuit lasted approximately three minutes.
As Repinski was driving back to Waupaca County, he heard a report of a crash at the South Telulah overpass on State Highway 441 in Calumet County. The driver, identified as Raether, was in custody.
At 6 a.m., Repinski met with two Appleton police officers at the Northbound Trail BP in Fremont to transfer custody of Raether. He then transported her to the Waupaca County jail.
Raether reportedly told Repinski she had been celebrating a co-workers birthday at Wilson’s Brickhouse Bar in Weyauwega. When she left the bar, she intended to go back home to Almond via State Highway 54.
She did not remember going the wrong way on U.S. 10 or driving off when a squad car pulled behind her on the median or driving at 100 mph.