UPDATE: Blanchardville mom, child survive wrong-way driver - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Blanchardville mom, child survive brush with suspected wrong-way drunk driver


BLANCHARDVILLE (WKOW) -- A Blanchardville mother and her three month old daughter survived a suspected wrong-way, drunken driver, when the mom swerved to avoid a head-on collision.

"It was very scary," Jamie Desmet tells 27 News.

"I was worried obviously about myself and my daughter, just concerned we were going to be severely injured in this accident, if we didn't get over all of the way," Desmet says.

Desmet says she was taking her daughter to a noon-time doctor's appointment, when confronted by the oncoming car. 

Desmet and authorities say the wrong way car on Friday sideswiped Desmet's car on County Highway J near New Glarus, leaving minor damage.

Authorities say the wrong-way driver continued on, becoming involved in at least two other crashes Friday afternoon, including a head-on collision in the Town of Perry in Dane County.

Authorities say the driver of the wrong-way car, 21-year-old Danielle Kraus, of Verona, was hospitalized Friday. A Meriter Hospital official says Kraus was released the next day.

Dane County Sheriff's spokesperson Elise Schaffer says Kraus faces a tentative charge of causing injury by drunken driving. Kraus was not arrested.

Green County Sheriff Jeffrey Skatrud says Kraus faces several criminal, traffic charges, including hit and run.

Kraus has not responded to requests for comment from 27 News.


GREEN COUNTY (WKOW) – A 21-year-old Verona woman was involved in three collisions Friday afternoon.

Danielle Kraus was cited for drunken driving after she admitted to the Green County Sheriff's Department that she was responsible for three crashes within three hours.

The Green County Sheriff's Department responded to the first accident around 12:56 p.m. on CTH J 0.2 miles north of Hustad Valley Road in the Town of York.  The victim told authorities that she and her child were northbound on CTH J and observed a maroon colored Ford passenger car operating southbound in the northbound lane.

Authorities said the victim tried to get the attention of the driver, 21-year-old Danielle S. Kraus, by honking her vehicles horn, but it didn't work.  Deputies said the victim was forced to enter the gravel shoulder and was unable to avoid the collision.  Kraus struck the victim's vehicle on the driver's side and caused minor damage to the victim's vehicle.  The sheriff's department said airbags were not deployed and both occupants were properly restrained and uninjured. 

Officials said Kraus continued southbound on CTH J failing to stop and her maroon Ford lost a portion of its mirror during the collision. The victim told responding deputies that the car was operated by a white female with dark hair.

As the Green County Sheriff's Department responded to victim, they received another call of a single vehicle crash in the W7900 block of Quarry Road in the Town of Adams.

Witnesses told authorities that the offending vehicle was a maroon Ford passenger car that was operated by a dark haired female.   Prior to the deputies arriving, the female had a male subject pull her vehicle out of the ditch and headed eastbound on Quarry Road.

The Green County Sheriff's Department was alerted of the third accident around 3:44 p.m. on CTH JG, just north of Green County's CTH J in Dane County.  Deputies reported that the suspect's vehicle, a maroon Ford passenger car, was involved in a two vehicle head-on collision.

When deputies arrived, the suspect's vehicle was still at the scene and they identified the driver as Danielle S. Kraus.

Deputies said the vehicle and Kraus's physical description matched the other two reported Green County crashes. 

Authorities said the vehicle sustained severe damage from the later crashes, but appeared to have sustained only minor damage from the hit and run.

Deputies said Kraus was uninjured during the initial collision and had been properly restrained.

Authorities said Kraus was issued a mandatory court appearance for the Green County charges and was turned over to Dane County Deputies. 

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