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Hatley man pleads not guilty in fatal crash

Heath Gureski, 21
Heath Gureski, 21(Marathon County Jail)
Published: Nov. 16, 2020 at 9:38 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 23, 2020 at 3:52 PM CST
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WESTON, Wis. (WSAW) -The 21-year-old Hatley man accused of drinking and driving before a crash that killed his passenger pleaded not guilty to homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle during an arraignment hearing Wednesday.

Heith Gureski, 21, remains in the Marathon County Jail on $500,000 cash bond.

During Gureski’s probable cause hearing on Nov. 16, Assistant District Attorney Sidney Brubacher said Gureski and Bryce Giles, 21, had been barhopping before the fatal crash. He said witnesses explained Gureski did a burnout in the parking lot of a bar on County Highway J and took off speeding. A group of people were traveling together but told investigators Gureski had gotten so far ahead of them they did not witness the crash.

The crash was reported around 2:35 a.m. Nov. 15 on County Road J near Roble Lane in the Town of Weston. Investigators said the vehicle had been traveling north on County Road J when it left the roadway, struck trees, and rolled over.

“He went off the road, he went airborne, he took out two trees. Law enforcement believes he was going at a very high rate of speed. There were no skidmarks,” Brubacher explained on Nov. 16.

Police said Giles died at the scene.

In court on Nov. 16, Brubacher explained that Gureski was issued a citation for first offense operating while intoxicated less than one month ago on Oct. 18.

“We’re going to ask for a $950,000 cash bond. Basically, for the fact, he can’t follow…. He’s already got OWI first. He shouldn’t have been out drinking and driving. He can’t be relied on to not do that.”

Gureski was transported to the hospital and treated for minor injuries.

During Gureski’s probable cause hearing Judge Michael Moran set bond at $500,000 cash. On Nov. 23, Judge Suzanne O’Neill continued that bond.

He’s scheduled for a clerical court appearance on Jan. 26.

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