Laona Man Pleads Not Guilty to Causing Crash that Killed Passenger

By: WSAW Staff
By: WSAW Staff

An 18-year-old Laona man accused of causing a crash that killed a 15-year-old passenger, and seriously injured a 16-year-old passenger, has pleaded not guilty. Austin Ginter was released from the jail after a judge agreed to reduced his $15,000 to $7,500 cash.

According to court documents, a deputy responded to a single vehicle crash around 1 p.m. on July 13 on Old 8 Road near Crandon. The deputy found the vehicle on its passenger side and engulfed in flames.

The surviving passenger told investigators Ginter was driving when he crash into some trees. She stated she was feeling ill and her eyes had been closed prior to the crash, but she opened them as the vehicle began to slide. She and Ginter were both flown to a Marshfield hospital to be treated for their injuries.

Witnesses told the deputy that they believed the vehicle was traveling around 100 mph, despite the posted speed limit of 35 mph.

During an interview with investigators at the hospital, Ginter said a deer ran in front of the vehicle. He also said he had been going 45 mph, as the vehicle had trouble making it up hills.

The surviving passenger said she had three fractured ribs, shoulder pain, a laceration to her left kidney, a possible broken sternum, and injuries to her back.

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