A De Pere lawmaker wants to close a loophole in state law, which he argues can help someone get away with a hit-and-run crash.
Republican Rep. Andre Jacque (R-De Pere) says his bill would require people to stop after a crash to make sure nobody was hurt. Currently, he says some people are able to drive away and later claim they thought they hit a deer or a something else in the road, even if they left somebody seriously hurt, or dead.
The De Pere Republican says the bill will “align our laws with common sense that, if you don’t know what you hit…you should stop and find out exactly what it is you hit.”
Jacque says the loophole helped overturn the conviction of a driver in a 2011 Door County case. Mark Sperber was initially convicted in the hit-and-run death of 20-year-old John Kennedy, who was in a wheelchair, and was given ten years in prison. Sperber claimed he thought he hit a garbage can and a judge later overturned his conviction after he had served 25 months of his sentence. He reached a plea deal last spring ahead of a retrial, which allowed him to avoid additional prison time.
Jacque has named the bill the John Michael “Mingo” Kennedy Act, in honor of the victim in the case.