NewsLocal NewsIn Your NeighborhoodFond du Lac


Man faces 12 charges in connection to Verizon store crash

Benjamin H. Ayer
Posted at 12:16 PM, May 02, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-03 17:48:33-04

FOND DU LAC (NBC 26) — Benjamin Ayer from Oakfield has been charged with 12 counts, including injury by intoxicated use of a vehicle and possession of THC in connection to a Fond du Lac Verizon store crash last week.

Ayer was charged on Tuesday during an initial court appearance. He was arrested on Thursday, April 27 after crashing into a Verizon store, injuring five.

Online court records show Ayer faces nine felony counts that include injury by intoxicated use of a vehicle and eight counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety. He also faces three misdemeanor charges that include possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of THC and causing injury while operating under the influence.

According to police last week, investigations show Ayer was driving north on Rolling Meadows Drive when his vehicle went off the road. The vehicle traveled about 300 feet through parts of a terrace and a parking lot before jumping over a curb and crashing into the building.

Several people who were in the store at the time of the crash were injured. A 29-year-old woman was airlifted for life-threatening injuries.

A 30-year-old man, a 23-year-old man and a 49-year-old woman were transported to St. Agnes Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Ayer was also transported and treated at St. Agnes Hospital for injuries.

According to the criminal complaint, an officer, "Escorted Ayer away from the building. Officer Da Neng Vang did observe that Ayer struggled with walking as he was limping. Once Ayer was away from the building...Officer Da Neng Vang noticed that Ayer's speech was slow and that he was apologetic in regards to the situation."

The complaint also states that Ayer admitted to officers that he was huffing air duster at a Culver's prior to driving. When asked if he was on any other medication, Ayer said he was on medication for ADHD, anxiety and depression. Ayer said he did not take anything else other than huffing the air duster prior to the crash.

When searching the car, officers noted in the criminal complaint that in the front seat area, there was a, " "Surf Onn" electronics duster compressed gas cleaner in the front seat area...and a red and blue pipe which contained burnt plant-like material inside."

Along with the pipe, officers found a grinder with plant-like material consistent with marijuana. An officer later tested the plant-like material which was positive for marijuana and weighed 0.4 grams.

Ayer is currently being held on a $300,000 cash bond. If convicted, he faces 60 years in prison. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 12.