Driver in fatal Outagamie Co. crash charged

Joseph Konetzke (Photo courtesy Outagamie Co. Jail)

APPLETON (WLUK) – The driver accused in a drunk driving crash which killed two people didn’t remember the crash immediately afterwards, and his blood alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit.

Joseph Konetzke, 57, of Neenah, faces two counts of homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle for the Dec. 17 crash that killed David Rosol, 82, and Hazel DeWitt, 83, both of LaGrange, Ill. If convicted of both counts, he faces up to 80 years in prison.

His bond was set at $200,000 at his initial appearance in Outagamie County court Tuesday. His next court date has not been scheduled.

According to the criminal complaint, the officer asked Konetzke several questions after the crash – and he could not say what road he was on or which way he was travelling because he had “too much” to drink.

Konetzke said he did not remember seeing a stop sign, and when asked if he remembered hitting a vehicle, he responded, “I don’t know,” the complaint states.

Another driver who was following Konetzke said he did not see any brakelights activate before the crash in the town of Liberty.

Konetzke failed a field sobriety test, and a preliminary breath test – which isn’t admissible in court – showed a blood alcohol level of .262. Blood test results are not cited in the complaint.

Konetzke was issued a citation by Outagamie County for failing to stop for the stop sign. A Feb. 28 court date is scheduled for that case.

He has two previous drunk driving convictions. He also faces separate charges in Winnebago County for misdemeanor OWI-third offense for a Dec. 2 traffic stop.

(Editor's note: The Sheriff's Department originally said the crash was in Bovina, but now says it was in Liberty. The story was edited with the correct information.)

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