Brooklyn man charged with reckless homicide, possession of drug - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Brooklyn man charged with reckless homicide, possession of drug paraphernalia in death of bicyclist

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Courtesy: Shelton Berel family Courtesy: Shelton Berel family

MADISON (WKOW) -- A Brooklyn, WI man has been charged criminally in Dane County Circuit Court with the fatal death of a bicyclist.

The crash happened August 5 in the Town of Oregon. Thursday morning, the Dane County District Attorney's office filed charges against Kevin Meister, 35, for the collision that killed Shelton Berel.

Meister is charged with Hit and Run - Resulting in Death, Second Degree Reckless Homicide and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Prosecutors allege Meister struck Berel, who was riding his bike around 6:30 a.m. that Friday, and left the scene without stopping to check what he hit. Prosecutors also claim Meister had in his possession syringes, a cooker and a twist tie to inject a controlled substance. 

Berel was hit in the area of Lincoln Road and Hillcrest Lane. Witnesses told the Dane County Sheriff's Office the truck that hit the bicyclist was weaving and at one point, went into a ditch before the crash. The sheriff's office sent out a news alert about the crash since it was looking for the vehicle that hit Berel.

It was Meister's sister who contacted the Dane County 911 Center, saying over the past 90 minutes she heard media reports about a fatal crash and the description of the suspect vehicle matched that of her brother, Kevin Meister's vehicle. She directed sheriff's deputies to where he worked and Meister was arrested.

Meister claims he thought he hit a deer that morning. The criminal complaint says he told detectives he reached down in his truck to grab a soda at the time. He later stated he reached for a bottle of iced tea. Meister stated when he reached down, he heard a loud bang and did not see anything in the road, either before or after the crash. When asked by the detective whether he saw a deer in the road, Meister shook his head no, according to the criminal complaint.

Detectives say based on the damage to the truck, the impact occurred on the passenger side and Berel was facing the truck when it hit him. That, coupled with the marks left on the road, means that Meister's truck was traveling on the entirely wrong side of the road when it struck Berel, according to the criminal complaint. 

A detective with the Dane County Sheriff's Office also found two syringes without caps in the side pocket of the driver's side door, five empty syringe wrappers, a tea light cooker, a metal twist tie which he recognized as a cooker holder, a plastic bag containing copper scrubbing materials which is commonly used as a filter for smoking drugs and an aluminum can modified in a manner consistent with drug use, the criminal complaint states.

The Medical Examiner's Officer confirms Berel's cause of death was multiple blunt traumas of the head, neck, torso and extremities.

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