An Adams man was charged in Juneau County Circuit Court this week with homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle for a deadly nighttime boat crash in July.
Christopher R. Collins, 22, faces possible prison time of 25 years for the crash on Castle Rock Lake on July 21 that claimed the life of Michael J. Miklavicic, 23, of Friendship.
Miklavicic was one of five people in a boat piloted by Collins that struck a rock shortly before midnight near the Buckhorn Bridge on county Highway G.
According to the criminal complaint:
The Juneau County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to the Buckhorn Bridge area shortly before midnight, where a deputy arrived to find first responders from Necedah Fire Department attempting to resuscitate Miklavicic and aid the four others.
All five people needed medical attention and were taken to Mile Bluff Medical Center in Mauston. Miklavicic was later taken to UW Hospital in Madison, where he died from head trauma.
Collins, who was treated for a gash on his head, told a deputy at Mile Bluff that he had been driving the boat. He told the deputy that he had been attempting to return to the Adams County side of the lake when he heard someone yell a warning about a bridge. He said he then saw he was fast approaching a bridge support and attempted unsuccessfully to steer around it.
“We thought we were in the middle of the lake and I think we were going as fast as the boat would go when we collided with the bridge,” Joseph A. Miller, one of the four crash survivors, told a deputy.
All but Miklavicic were ejected, Collins said. When the four climbed back into the boat they observed Miklavicic hanging over the side of the boat, apparently unconscious and not breathing, and called 911
Collins told the deputy that he did not know what direction he had been traveling, that he was unfamiliar with the Juneau County side of the lake and the Buckhorn Bridge area, and that he had consumed four or five beers before the crash.
He was then tentatively charged with injury by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle.
A sample of Collins’ blood later indicated a blood alcohol concentration of 0.13, well above the state limit of 0.08.
Collins is scheduled for an initial court appearance Oct. 17.
847-7341, ext. 237