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Reedsburg man faces felony charge in 2016 crash

April 9, 2018

A Reedsburg man is facing a felony charge related to a September 2016 crash in which a La Valle woman was seriously injured.

The Sauk County District Attorney’s Office on Friday charged Christopher J. Steinmetz, 33, with one felony count of causing great bodily harm while knowingly driving with a revoked license. The charge carries a maximum prison sentence of three years and six months, plus $10,000 in fines.

According to the criminal complaint, Steinmetz was driving a 1995 Dodge pickup along State Highway 33 near Roznos Road in the town of La Valle on Sept. 24, 2016, when he crossed the center line and collided head-on with another vehicle.

A La Valle woman who was driving the other vehicle suffered 11 broken ribs, a broken sternum, and punctured lungs, according to reports. Doctors had to take drastic measures to save her life, and she needed to have reconstructive surgeries.

Sauk County District Attorney Kevin Calkins said charges related to the 18-month-old crash were filed only recently because investigators had been awaiting a drug panel from the state crime lab to determine whether Steinmetz was driving impaired.

Last week, during the course of follow-up investigation, a detective with the Sauk County Sheriff’s Department questioned Steinmetz about his recollection of the crash, and asked if he remembered why his driver’s license was revoked at the time.

Steinmetz allegedly replied that he had previously been issued “driving after revocation tickets.”

The detective then reportedly said: “So you knew obviously that you were revoked when you were in the crash?”

Steinmetz allegedly replied: “Yeah. That I do know,” adding that he had received a letter from the state Department of Transportation.

Steinmetz was booked and released on a $1,000 signature bond. He is due to appear in court May 8.