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Automobile Collisions / Workers' Compensation

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Suspect in Madison moped death charged with homicide

Police believe a 27-year-old woman driver caused a fatal car accident on a frontage road the driver claimed she mistook for the eastbound Madison Beltline. Negligence and heroin use are suspected contributors to the death of a 37-year-old moped driver last October.

Records show that police responded to an emergency call Oct. 8, 2011 around 3 a.m. Officers found pieces of car accident wreckage on a frontage road when they arrived at the scene.

The lifeless body of a male accident victim was discovered behind a retaining wall laying on the Beltline.

Officers found no vehicles in the immediate area but tracked one to a location not far from the scene. The driver informed police that she had struck a motorcycle. An examination of the car revealed front-end damage consistent with an accident.

A mangled moped was found wedged underneath the suspect's vehicle.

The driver apparently believed she was traveling on the Beltline. State Patrol investigators reported that the moped driver was struck on a frontage road next to the Beltline. The suspect's car reportedly swerved across eastbound lanes to the westbound side.

The driver admitted to officers that she had been drinking champagne before getting in the car, but an alcohol breath test determined she was not legally drunk. The breath test registered .071, a blood alcohol content reading just below the Wisconsin legal intoxication limit of .08.

During an accident site investigation a few days after the crash, an officer discovered a discarded makeup case beneath a shrub. The case reportedly belonged to the suspect and contained paraphernalia commonly used by heroin abusers.

A passenger who was with the suspect at the time of the deadly moped accident apparently told police he witnessed the woman driver injecting heroin.

Morphine, the metabolized byproduct of heroin, was detected in the driver's system.

The suspect recently answered several charges in a Madison court, including possession of drug paraphernalia, homicide by intoxicated driving and a second charge of homicide by negligent driving.

Source: twincities.com, "Wisconsin woman charged in death of moped driver," March 15, 2012

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