ROOT COUNTY — A 42-year-old Kenosha woman is facing three felony charges of second-degree reckless endangerment after an accident just before midnight Friday in the city of Burlington.
Valorie Gruber, 6730 14e Ave., made his first appearance Monday afternoon in Racine County Circuit Court and is free on a $5,000 signing bond. Each of the felony charges carries a maximum fine of $25,000 and 10 years in prison.
Gruber is also charged with her first offense of impaired driving and impaired driving causing injury, both misdemeanors.
Criminal complaint: Car accident, flight from the premises
Deputies from the Racine County Sheriff’s Department were dispatched to the accident in the 8300 block of Fishman Road. The dispatcher said a gray Hyundai left the road and ended up in the ditch, and one occupant was struggling to breathe.
While driving to the scene of the crash, the dispatcher told officers that a witness saw Gruber flee the scene on foot. Another witness told police he saw three people running south, across Country View Lane and into the woods. All three were later arrested without incident in the Fishman and Karcher Roads area.
Gruber said she switched seats with the driver so she could “practice driving” and told police the group was on a ride. She admitted to driving at high speed and as she turned the corner, the front passenger pushed her shoulder, causing her to lose control, go off the road, spin and spin. immobilized in the ditch.
The defendant, according to the complaint, said she was afraid of being arrested for driving without a license, so she fled the scene. Gruber told police she consumed “about two to three glasses of mixed vodka” around 9:30 a.m.
An officer said he did not observe any smell of intoxicants and Gruber’s eyes appeared clear and of normal size, but she showed signs of fading. A preliminary breath test revealed a blood alcohol level of 0.04. The results of a legal blood test are pending.
One passenger was treated for abrasions, while a second suffered multiple rib fractures and a collapsed lung, the complaint says.
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