Homicide and injury by OWI charges have been filed against a rural Rice Lake man for a vehicle and buggy crash in February that killed one teen and injured another.
Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said Thursday, March 18, that Anthony R. Anderson, 40, had been arrested on Wednesday evening, March 17, and had appeared in Barron County Circuit Court on Thursday.
The charges filed against Anderson included felony homicide by intoxicated use of vehicle while having prior intoxicant-related conviction/revocation, homicide by intoxicated use of vehicle with prohibited alcohol concentration while having prior intoxicant-related conviction/revocation, operating while intoxicated causing injury-second and subsequent offense and operating with prohibited alcohol concentration causing injury-second and subsequent offense.
The crash happened around 6:42 p.m. on Feb. 18, on CTH M, just south of the Barron County line. There, deputies found the debris from a destroyed horse-drawn buggy, as well as two kerosene lamps and a working yellow warning strobe light.
Emergency medical personnel were treating a 17-year-old boy who had been in the buggy and ejected into the middle of the road. The teen, who was injured and unconscious, was airlifted to Mayo Hospital in Eau Claire, where he died from his injuries.
Another 16-year-old teen was also injured in the crash. He survived and was treated for his injuries. The teen told deputies that he and the now-deceased teen were driving the buggy north on CTH M, heading home. Both the kerosene lamps and the yellow strobe light were working and visible from the front and back of the buggy at the time.
A relative of the boys said he had built the buggy and showed deputies on a similar buggy how the strobe light was mounted on the left rear corner of the buggy. With a similar buggy and lights, deputies determined the strobe light was visible to drivers from 0.82 miles away and the lanterns and reflective tape were visible from 0.31 miles away.
After the crash, Anderson had a blood sample taken and tested by the State Hygiene Lab, which showed a BAC of 0.085. Bartenders at the V & M Bar said Anderson had been drinking from about 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Court records showed that Anderson had been convicted of a previous OWI charge on Sept. 27, 2019.