Homicide charges filed for 2012 crash
The woman involved in a crash that killed an Iola teen 1 1/2 years ago now faces vehicular homicide charges.
Heather D. Schmidt, 38, Ogdensburg, was charged late last week with homicide by the intoxicated use of a vehicle and homicide by a vehicle with a prohibited alcohol concentration.
If convicted, Schmidt faces up to 25 years in prison.
July 2012 crash
Shortly before 1:30 p.m. July 19, 2012, a two-vehicle crash was reported on County Road E in the town of St. Lawrence.
When Deputy Traci LaBrosse arrived at the scene, she found a 2001 Chevrolet Suburban on its passenger’s side in the northbound lane and a 1997 Mercury Grand Marquis on its wheels in the southbound lane.
Dylan Thorne, 18, was trapped in the Mercury. Deputy Coroner Deanna Kramer pronounced him dead at the scene.
Schmidt was also trapped in her vehicle. After she was extricated, Schmidt was taken by ambulance to Riverside Medical Center in Waupaca, then transported to Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah.
LaBrosse reported that there were no skid marks at the scene. Both drivers were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the head-on crash.
According to a State Patrol reconstruction of the crash, the Suburban had been travelling northbound when it crossed into the southbound lane and slammed into the Mercury.
Investigators estimate the Suburban was travelling 54-59 mph five seconds prior to impact.
The State Crime Lab reported that Schmidt had a 0.174 blood-alcohol level, more than twice the legal limit.
On July 21, LaBrosse interviewed Schmidt at the Neenah hospital.
Schmidt said she had been working from 10 p.m. July 18 to 6 a.m. July 19, according to the criminal complaint. After leaving work, she said she went to a bar on Royalton Street in Waupaca and had two beers.
Schmidt reportedly told LaBrosse that she did not remember the crash.
LaBrosse also interviewed two witness who live on County Road E. They reported seeing a green Suburban pass their home at a high rate of speed. Shortly after the vehicle was out of sight, they heard a crash.
Another witness, who had been driving northbound on County E at the time, told LaBrosse he came behind a northbound green Suburban about three miles south of Ogdensburg.
This witness said the Suburban was driving erratically, crossing into the southbound lane.
As he passed the Suburban, the witness said he noticed that the female driver appeared to be either leaning against her center console or on her cell phone.
The witness said he later looked into his rearview mirror and saw the Suburban completely in the southbound lane.
Schmidt is scheduled for an initial court appearance on March 14.