Prosecutors this week charged a 22-year-old man with homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle in the death of his friend.
Kevin J. Vaness faces additional felony charges of injury by intoxicated use of a vehicle related to Sunday’s crash, which claimed the life of Benjamin J. Brooks, 27, of Baraboo, formerly of Reedsburg. The wreck also left Tory C. Frenzel, 23, of Baraboo – described in court as Vaness’ best friend – in critical condition at a Madison hospital.
Vaness faces up to 52 years in prison if convicted.
According to the criminal complaint, the young men had been drinking together at the Pumphouse Sports Bar & Grille, located south of Baraboo on State Highway 123 near the north entrance to Devil’s Lake State Park.
Brooks drove a motorcycle with Frenzel as his passenger as Vaness tailed the two in a Jeep, with Joseph Crowley, 24, of Baraboo as his passenger, the complaint states.
The motorcycle was stopped at the intersection of Gall and Old Lake roads, prosecutors allege, when it was rear-ended by the Jeep driven by Vaness. The crash pushed the motorcycle through the intersection onto Steinke Road, and caused Brooks and Frenzel – who were not wearing helmets – to be thrown from the bike.
Vaness allegedly told sheriff’s deputies who arrived at the scene that he did not see the taillights of the motorcycle. One deputy reported smelling alcohol on Vaness’ breath.
Vaness told officers “he had been drinking, and did not know how much he had to drink,” the complaint states. Officers reported that Vaness failed field-sobriety tests, appeared unsteady, and blew a .211 on a preliminary breath test.
read more here > Man charged with friend’s death in crash : Reedsburg Times-Press.