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Sheriff: Drunken driving led to fatal Walworth County crash

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Nico Savidge
October 14, 2013

ELKHORN—Walworth County authorities are recommending prosecutors charge a Whitewater man with homicide by intoxicated driving after a deadly crash Sunday afternoon, according to a news release.

It was the second of two fatal crashes in the county Sunday, the Walworth County Sheriff's Office said.

Melissa J. Patrick, 40, Whitewater, was slowing to enter a driveway on Highway 89 in the town of Whitewater just before 5 p.m. Sunday when her Ford Freestyle was hit from behind by a Chevy Malibu, authorities said.

The Ford rolled over, and Patrick was thrown from her car, according to a news release. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

A female child in Patrick's car also was injured in the crash and was taken to Fort Atkinson Hospital with moderate injuries, according to the release.

The Malibu's driver, 50-year-old Craig M. Seefeldt of Whitewater, was arrested and taken to the Walworth County Jail, authorities said.

The sheriff's office has referred the case to the Walworth County District Attorney's Office, recommending Seefeldt be charged with homicide by intoxicated driving, causing injury by intoxicated driving and endangering safety by reckless driving, according to the release.

A little more than an hour earlier, deputies were called to fatal crash in the town of Darien.

Stephen P. Schmitz, 65, of Wheeling, Ill., was killed when the motorcycle he was riding hit a guardrail on County C near Clowes Road, went into oncoming traffic and was hit by a minivan at about 3:45 p.m., authorities said.

The van's driver and three passengers were not hurt in the crash, according to the release.



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