Neenah man faces 4th OWI after crashing into squad car

Posted at 8:19 PM, Jul 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-26 21:24:11-04

The Winnebago County Sheriff's Office has released dramatic video of an accused drunk driver slamming into the back of a squad car. 

The deputy was responding to an accident on I-41 in Neenah around 10:15 Wednesday night in the rain. He was parked on the side of the Interstate with his emergency lights flashing when all of a sudden he was rear-ended.

Deputies said a 60-year-old man from Neenah slammed into the back of the squad car causing it to smash into the car parked in front of the cruiser. The man also hit another car as he spun into traffic. He's now facing his 4th OWI offense. 

The Sheriff's Office said it's just another reminder of the dangers of the job.    

"We do what we're going to do no matter what the weather is and no matter the circumstances are. We're going to respond no matter what that takes, and we just hope that it doesn't happen again and we hope when it happens again it's not severe," said Patrol Captain Lara Vendola-Messer. 

The deputy, the suspected drunk driver and two 18-year-old girls all suffered minor injuries. A 19-year-old Greenville man who was also involved in the chain reaction crash was not hurt.

"The officer's family, you know, making that phone call in the middle of the night, 'Honey, I'm ok.' That's something nobody wants to have to do and something nobody wants to be on the receiving end of, so this could've absolutely been 100% worse." 

The squad car is totaled.  

Besides OWI, the driver who allegedly caused the crash also faces charges of violating the state's Move Over Law as well as failing to install an ignition interlock device. Investigators said he also driving after revocation and didn't have insurance.