Drunken driver gets 5 years for killing woman mowing grass

Man drove off highway, hit 83-year-old rural Saukville resident outside her home
By 
BILL SCHANEN IV
Ozaukee Press staff

A man who was drunk when he drove his pickup truck off Highway Y in the Town of Saukville and hit an 83-year-old woman who was mowing the grass outside her home two years ago, killing her, was sentenced to five years in prison last week.

Ozaukee County Circuit Judge Paul Malloy also sentenced Matthew R. Anderson, 36, of West Bend, to five years of extended supervision after he pleaded no contest to homicide by the intoxicated use of a motor vehicle during a May 20 court hearing.

The accident dates to May 16, 2020, when at about 3:30 p.m. Anderson, who said he was heading home after golfing with his cousin, was driving south on Highway Y near Cedar Sauk Road when his pickup truck crossed into the northbound lane and careened off the east side of the highway into the yard of Marlene Braun, who was hit by the truck.

The truck then hit a utility pole so hard that it snapped the middle section while the top part remained suspended by wires.

A deputy investigating the accident noted there were no tire marks on Highway Y that would indicate Anderson tried to make a sudden correction or slow his truck. Instead, it appeared the vehicle gradually crossed into and across the northbound lane and into Braun’s yard.

At the scene, Anderson told authorities that he “hit the side of the road” and lost control, but he could not explain why he went off the road in the first place, according to the criminal complaint.

He said he had been golfing in Kewaskum and had three beers.

A deputy said he could smell alcohol on Anderson’s breath, but Anderson, who was injured in the crash and complained of a chronic physical condition, refused to take a breath test at the scene.

A test based on a blood sample taken later at a hospital showed Anderson had a alcohol level of .09. A blood alcohol level of .08 is considered evidence of intoxication in Wisconsin.

Anderson faced as many as 15 years in prison and 10 years of extended supervision.

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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