DEVELOPING: County Detectives Investigate False Hit & Run Report
By Brandi Makuski
Authorities from the Portage Co. Sheriff’s Office this week are investigating a single-vehicle crash that resulted in injuries for three people.
Emergency crews were called to the intersection of Whiting Rd. and Jacobson St. at 10:13 PM on May 30 after a caller reported a hit and run with multiple victims. When crews arrived they found three individuals — two teenagers from Plover and a 39-year-old man from Stevens Point — with non-life-threatening injuries.
According to Lt. Jacob Wills, deputies were first led to believe the three pedestrians were struck in the roadway by a passing vehicle, driven by 24-year-old Jeremy Haas of Stevens Point, who reportedly fled the scene.
Based on that information, deputies called in an accident reconstruction team, which set up flood lights, drew maps and took measurements of the area.
Only after several hours investigating the scene, Wills said deputies were informed the supposed pedestrians were actually passengers in the vehicle driven by Haas.
“It turns out they were traveling southbound on Whiting Avenue when the vehicle left the road and struck some trees near Jacobson [Street],” Wills said.
“We thought it was a hit and run,” said Sheriff Mike Lukas. “We had some people who were obstructing [justice], so we had to bring the accident reconstruction team out there — we had to cover all the bases.”
Following the accident, Lukas said, three of the car’s occupants left the vehicle for reasons not immediately released. Deputies quickly found Haas as he was driving away from the scene and initiated a traffic stop. He was taken into custody but later released on a $200 cash bond.
Haas was initially cited for operating without insurance. It was not immediately known what, if any, additional charges would be brought forward against Haas or others in the vehicle, as Lukas said the investigation was still ongoing.
“We’re still investigating,” Wills said, “so there’s still a lot to be sorted out.”
According to court records, Haas returns to court July 3.