Driver Who Caused Fatal Crash Won't Be Charged Criminally

Katherine Bennett, 44, of Milwaukee pulled out into an intersection and the car she was driving was struck by a tanker trunk. The driver, Jonathan Schweiss, died from his injuries. The Racine District Attorney's Office won't issue charges.

Officials with the Racine County District Attorney’s Office will not be issuing charges against a driver involved in a fatal two-car crash that happened Memorial Day weekend.

Jonathan Schweiss, 45, of Menomonee Falls, was traveling southbound on Nicholson Road when Katherine Bennett, 44, of Milwaukee, pulled out in front of him on May 26 at Nicholson and 5 Mile road.

Bennett told officers that she stopped at the stop sign, looked both ways and traveled through the intersection. But as she did, she saw the semi coming at her and froze, thinking she was going to die.

Schweiss struck the car, but then veered off the road and the tanker truck rolled over onto its side into a field. He was air lifted to Froedtert Hospital by Flight for Life, but Schweiss died of multiple blunt force traumatic injuries, according to Tom Terry, the Racine County Medical Examiner.

Caledonia Police cited Bennett for failing to yield the right of way into oncoming traffic.

According to a report by the Caledonia Police Department, Bennett later told police in an interview shortly after the crash that on the day of the crash she thought the intersection was a four-way stop, and she did not recall seeing the tanker truck until the truck crashed into the car. In the police report, officers noted that the truck could have been in her blind spot. They also noted that Bennett was not using her cell phone, eating, driving in a distracted manner, or using alcohol or drugs.

However, “A contributing factor in this accident and the subsequent death of Jonathan Schweiss, is driver error of the driver of the non-commercial vehicle, Katherine Bennett,” according to a report by the Caledonia Police Department.

In June the Village added signs underneath the stop sign indicating that cross-traffic doesn’t stop.


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