UPDATE: Defense questions deadly crash survivor in drunken drivi - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Defense questions deadly crash survivor in drunken driving trial

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LINCOLN COUNTY (WAOW) -- Emotions ran high as one of the survivors of the deadly drunk driving crash in Merrill took the stand.

Ashley Baumann, 26, faces numerous felony charges including homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle, after authorities say Baumann was driving the car when it went off the road killing two women.

Baumann and Jerrica Woller, 31, survived.

Woller took the stand in the second day of the trial. Woller's sister, Jessica Hartwig died in the crash.

Woller told the court the women had all gone to a bar in Merrill after a softball game in June of 2012. She said they were drinking, and “having a good time.” Woller said, at bar close, they asked the bartender for a voucher for a free cab ride home. But, the bartender said he didn't have any vouchers.

“That's when Ashley offered us a ride home,” Woller told the court Tuesday.

Woller testified the four women got into Baumann's car and that Woller was in the backseat and had her seat belt on.

During her emotional testimony Woller said at one point Baumann was driving really fast and she asked her to stop.

“Do you know how fast she was driving?,” asked Tara Jenswold, a special prosecutor assisting the Lincoln County district attorney's office.

“I didn't look at the speedometer but it was enough to scare me,” said Woller.

Woller told the court she got out of the car, walked around to the driver side door and told Baumann to stop driving so fast.

“She said she would,” explained Woller. “Then my sister said get in, everything will be fine.”

Woller said after that, she remembers waking up in the car after the crash.

“I woke up, got out of the car and went to look for my sister,” she recalled. “Then I heard the ambulance and got back in so they could find me.”

Woller suffered severe injuries including to her spine.

During cross-examination, defense attorney Wright Laufenberg questioned Woller in length, showing her pictures of the car and other evidence from the night of the crash.

At one point, Laufenberg showed Woller a picture of the car door and asked Woller if there were any wipe marks along the door. Woller said she didn't see any. Laufenberg asked Woller if she wiped down the car at any point. Woller said no.

Laufenberg then showed the court Woller's t-shirt she was wearing the night of crash. He asked Woller if it looked like it had been “scrunched up and used to wipe off the car.” Woller said she didn't think so.

Laufenberg ended his questioning late Tuesday morning.

Earlier Tuesday morning, the prosecution called Merrill Police Department officer Matthew Drabek. He told the court he was one of the first ones on scene. He said three women were ejected from the car, Woller was found inside the vehicle.

Officer Drabek testified that one woman, who was later identified as Baumann, was found in thicket.

“I couldn't get in there, it was very dense,” he explained. “EMS personnel had to use chainsaws to get her out.”

Stay tuned to Newsline 9 for more updates as this trial continues.


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