Waupaca Co. Woman Pleads Not Guilty in Fatal OWI Crash

By: WSAW Staff Email
By: WSAW Staff Email

A 38-year-old Ogdensburg woman charged with the 2012 drunk driving death of a Waupaca teen has pleaded not guilty. Court documents say Heather Schmidt had a blood alcohol level of .174; more than two times over the legal limit for driving when she caused a crash that killed Dylan Thorne, 18.

Sheriff’s deputies said Schmidt’s SUV crossed the center on County Trunk E in Waupaca County and hit Thorne's oncoming vehicle head-on. Thorne died at the scene.

During an interview with a deputy at the hospital Schmidt said she had finished working a third shift schedule at her job and had then gone to an area bar. Schmidt told the deputy she had two beers; however court documents indicate she would have had more to drink.

A witness of the crash said Schmidt's vehicle was driving erratically. Another witness said they hear no brake sound prior to the crash.
Investigators said Schmidt was driving northbound in the southbound lane on County Trunk E, and had been traveling at 54-59 mph five seconds before the crash.

Schmidt is charged with homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle and homicide by use of vehicle with prohibited alcohol concentration.

She's free on a $50,000 signature bond and will return to court August 26 for a clerical court appearance.

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