WAUSAU (WAOW) – The driver who sped down a west side Wausau street last summer at speeds of perhaps 80 mph before slamming into a car stopped for a red light, killing an 85-year-old woman, suffered a seizure at the time, Wausau Police Chief Jeff Hardel said Friday.
The driver had a history of seizures and in 2012 had his license revoked but it was reinstated about nine months before the deadly crash after a doctor cleared him to drive again, investigators said.
No citations or criminal charges will be issued in the death of Frances M. Wilk, the police chief said.
“Absolutely, it is a tragic situation,” Hardel said. “The family (of Wilk) is not very happy with us.”
The 51-year-old driver has not been identified. His sport utility vehicle slammed into the back of Wilk's car as it sat at the intersection of 17th Avenue and Stewart Avenue last June, crushing it between a cargo truck and the SUV. The SUV was estimated to be traveling between 65 mph and 83 mph, police said Friday.
The street has posted speed limit of 25 mph.
Until Friday, police had not said why the man was traveling so fast. According to Capt. Ben Bliven, the man had a seizure after driving in May 2012 and police successfully sought to have his driver's license revoked. A doctor cleared him to resume driving and his license was reinstated in September 2012, Bliven said.
"As of today, the driver who had a seizure does not have a valid driver's license," Bliven said in a statement. "His driving status is canceled and would not be reinstated without a doctor approving him to drive safely."
Newsline 9 reached the Wilk family Friday afternoon, but they declined to comment.