Janesville Police turned a man over to a sober woman after they couldn’t arrest him for drunk driving Monday morning. Three hours later he crashed his car into a tree and died.
According to Janesville Police reports an officer saw a vehicle go speeding down Court Street just after 1 am Monday. “Somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 miles an hour,” says Capt. Dan Davis of the Janesville P.D.
The driver was 29 year old Jason Stacy of rural Rock County. Officer Jeremy Dewitt pulled him over at this gas station. “The officer reports seeing no signs of intoxication or physical impairment,” says Davis.
But Stacy admits to drinking earlier in the evening and was asked to take a field sobriety test. He passed all three tests. Still not satisfied Officer Dewitt gives Jason Stacy a portable breathalyzer test. “The test result was .12,” says Davis.
But that’s not enough for an arrest. “The PBT results, in and of themselves, do not constitute probable cause to make an arrest,” says Davis.
The officer convinces Stacy to get a ride home. They go to a nearby bar where a friend’s wife agrees to drive them home. “She agreed to take responsibility for Mr. Stacy. So (Officer Dewitt) turned him over to her,” says Davis.
Jason Stacy is issued two tickets and released. At 3:45 am he crashes his car on County K south of Orfordville, just a couple miles from his home.
Jason Stacy’s vehicle crossed over the centerline and hit a tree. Investigators say he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt and was ejected. His body was thrown 50 feet into the woods.
“We suspect from the initial investigation that speed, possibly alcohol was a factor,” says Lt. Gary Groelle of the Rock County Sheriff’s Department.
Capt Davis says Officer Dewitt did everything he legally could to keep Jason Stacy off the roads. “What transpired in that 2.5 hours we don’t know. But clearly at some point Mr. Stacy chose to return to his vehicle and at some point he chose to drive.”
The Rock County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the crash. They’re still looking to interview the woman to whom Jason Stacy was turned over just to find out how and when he got back in his car.
It will be another week before we know Stacy’s blood alcohol level at the time of the crash.
via Police Can’t Arrest Man For DUI, He Dies In Fatal Crash Hours Later.