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VIDEO | Replay of Fond du Lac Co. Sheriff press conference about fatal crash on New Year’s Eve

January 5, 2024 – Fond du Lac Co., WI – At 3 p.m. the Fond du Lac County Sheriff and District Attorney held a press conference regarding the December 31, 2023, crash on Hwy 45 that resulted in the death of a Hartford woman, 19, and injury to four others.

 

Fond du Lac County Sheriff Ryan F. Waldschmidt said, “We have not had the cooperation we had expected. There are some who were at the party and some at the crash scene who are not cooperating. Many of these individuals are familiar to law enforcement.

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Waldschmidt said the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Department had interviewed a “couple dozen” people so far.

“As complicated as this investigation is, this is what we do. we work until we get to the bottom of this… We owe it to the victim and her family,” said Waldschmidt.

Wendy Wendorf

 

Fond du Lac County District Attorney Eric Toney said, “It has been an incredibly complex investigation. A second individual may have been struck… If you know anything, or someone has said something to you, contact the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Department.

“One thing…if somebody was at that party and saw any of the individuals…that’s all very helpful information.

“If you’ve heard from someone else who was at that party or at the scene of the crash, please share that information.”

The Sheriff released the identification of the 19-year-old suspect in custody, however no official charges have been filed.

According to authorities the initial crash occurred December 31, 2023, at 1:10 a.m. on Hwy 45 near Sandy Road in the Township of Auburn. Sheriff Waldschmidt indicated the body of 19-year-old Taya Grimes, who had been ejected during the rollover incident, was found 3 miles south of the accident site in Kewaskum in Washington County, WI.

This is a working story, and more information will be posted when details are available.

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January 5, 2024 – Fond du Lac, WI – At 3 p.m. the Fond du Lac County Sheriff and District Attorney will host a press conference regarding the December 31, 2023, crash on Hwy 45 that resulted in the death of a Hartford woman; 19, and injury to four others. The note below is the press release…

Due to significant and ongoing public interest in the status of the investigation into the circumstances surrounding the motor vehicle crash that occurred in the early morning hours of December 31, 2023, at USH 45 near the Fond du Lac/Washington County line, Fond du Lac County Sheriff Ryan Waldschmidt and District Attorney Eric Toney will be holding a press conference at 3 p.m. today with an update.  The press conference will be held in the Sheriff’s Office Conference Room located at 180 S. Macy St., Fond du Lac.

Washington County Insider will livestream the press conference on Facebook and rebroadcast the event later this afternoon.

Below are previously published stories tied to this incident.

January 3, 2024 – Fond du Lac Co., Wi – JOINT MEDIA ADVISORY FROM THE FOND DU LAC COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE AND THE FOND DU LAC COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE: DECEMBER 31, 2023 TOWN OF AUBURN TRAFFIC FATALITY.

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The Fond du Lac County District Attorney’s Office and Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office
have received numerous media inquiries on the status of potential charges and when a potential initial appearance may occur related to a December 31, 2023, traffic fatality in Fond du Lac County in the Town of Auburn.
The matter is still under investigation by the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office is working closely with investigators. No initial appearance will occur today and no further information will be released at this time.

 

Below are previous stories published regarding this incident. 

January 2, 2024 – Fond du Lac Co., WI – A West Bend man, 19, has been arrested in connection with the fatal accident on December 31, 2023, on Highway 45 in Fond du Lac County, WI.

An update is below from the Fond du Lac Co., WI, Sheriff’s Department.

On January 1, 2024, a 19-year-old West Bend man was identified as the driver of the vehicle that struck the 19-year-old female driver of the first crash and fled the scene in his vehicle prior to the arrival of emergency personnel.  

It is believed that the occupants of the vehicles were known to each other and that they were traveling together.

He has been arrested on suspicion of Hit and Run-causing death (Duty to report accident; assistance following accident).

He remains in custody in the Fond du Lac County Jail awaiting an initial court appearance.

Additional details about the crash and subsequent investigation will become available in the criminal complaint when filed with the court.  No further details are expected to be released until that time, as the investigation remains active and ongoing.  

*Correction* The 17-year-old male passenger who was transported to Froedert Hospital Milwaukee with critical injuries was previously reported to be from West Bend. He is from Iron Ridge, WI.  

January 1, 2024 – Fond du Lac Co., WI – There was a tragic rollover crash on Highway 45 in Fond du Lac County, WI, during the early morning hours of Sunday, December 31, 2023. One person,19, from Hartford was killed and four other injured.

The Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office has issued a follow-up release on its investigation.

Please note, the details in this story are graphic in nature.

The investigation into these two crashes remains active and ongoing, and alcohol is believed to be a factor in the initial crash.
The following additional details are being released at this time.

Occupants of vehicle involved in initial rollover crash:

19-year-old female operator from Hartford – deceased

17-year-old male passenger from West Bend – transported by ambulance to Froedert Hospital Milwaukee with critical injuries

16-year-old female passenger from Theresa – transported by ambulance to Children’s Hospital Milwaukee with serious non-life threatening injuries

17-year-old passenger from Milwaukee – transported by ambulance to Froedert West Bend with minor injuries

21-year-old passenger from Iron Ridge – transported by civilian vehicle to Aurora Medical Center Washington County with serious non-life threatening injuries

 

December 31, 2023 – Fond du Lac Co., WI – On Sunday, December 31, 2023, at 1:10 a.m., the Fond du Lac County Communications Center received a call of a one-vehicle accident on Hwy 45 near Sandy Road in the Township of Auburn.
Please note – the contents of the following story are graphic in nature. Prayers to the families and rescue crews involved.

Deputies with the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office and Washington County Sheriff’s Office responded along with Campbellsport Ambulance and Kewaskum Fire and Ambulance Service.

Preliminary investigation showed that the vehicle was traveling southbound and entered the west ditch, striking a culvert.

Murphy & Prachthauser

The vehicle then overturned several times before coming to rest.  There were 5 occupants of the vehicle, 4 of which were ejected during the crash.  

After being ejected from the vehicle, a 19-year-old Hartford woman was struck by another vehicle.  She was drug from the scene and located by Washington County Deputies three miles from the initial crash site.

The female was pronounced deceased at the secondary scene.  Three other occupants were transported to medical facilities with serious life-threatening injuries.  One occupant was transported with non-life-threatening injuries.  

Hwy 45 was re-routed for approximately 4 hours by the Fond du Lac County Highway Department and Wisconsin State Patrol while the Fond du Lac County Reconstruction Team investigated the crash.

Wendy Wendorf

 At this time the names of the involved are not being released as the investigation is ongoing.  

If you have any information on either of these two related crashes we are asking that you contact the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office at (920)929-3390 or the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s tip line at (920)906-4777.  

Wendy Wendorf

 

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