What victims injuries could reveal in deadly crash trial - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

What victims injuries could reveal in deadly crash trial

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LINCOLN COUNTY (WAOW) -- Crash experts say the only person who could have been driving the car in a deadly drunken driving crash in Lincoln County was the defendant.

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

The defense maintains Baumann was not behind the wheel.

State trooper Thomas Erdmann spent Thursday afternoon on the stand. Erdmann is a crash reconstruction specialist.

Erdmann testified, based on his crash reconstruction expertise, that the driver of the car was the last one thrown from the vehicle. Based on that, he says there's only one person who could have been driving.

"This occupant based on that its beyond the vehicle, beyond its final rest, that it came out last, that occupant,” said Erdmann.

Just for the record, when you're pointing out that occupant you're pointing to the area beyond the car?” asked the prosecution.

Yes ma'am,” said Erdmann.

Based on your familiarity with this case and the investigation do you know that to be the place of the defendant, is that right?” clarified the prosecution.

Yes ma'am,” answered Erdmann.

But an emergency room doctor told the court it would be impossible to tell who was where inside the car.

In a high speed multiple rollover, belted or un-belted, it's going to be very difficult to tie the injuries to where they were in the car, is that what you're testifying to today?” asked defense attorney Wright Laufenberg.

I do not have the expertise to determine that, correct. I cannot say with any definitive answer where she was in the vehicle,” said Dr. Ken Sullivan from Ministry Good Samaritan Hospital in Merrill.

Earlier in the day forensic pathologist, Dr. Robert Corliss was called to the stand. Dr. Corliss performed the autopsy on Misty Glisch. Corliss testified that Glisch had injuries that show she was most likely wearing her seat belt when the car crashed.

During questioning, Dr. Corliss told the court that it is possible to determine where a person was located in the car based on their injuries.

For example, if a person had multiple or more injuries to the right side of their body that would be indicative that they were seated on the right side of the car,” Dr. Corliss testified.

The defense focused its questioning on the photos of injuries of Glisch and Jessica Hartwig, the other woman who died in the crash.

What other injuries can someone have that would show they were wearing a seat belt?,” asked defense attorney Wright Laufenberg.

Someone could have a seat belt injury but unless its completely clear, linear injury it's hard to tell for sure,” said Corliss.

Laufenberg continued to show a series of photos to Dr. Corliss. He showed a picture of Jessica Hartwig's injuries. He argued that Hartwig had injuries that could show she was wearing a seat belt.

Would you agree that this injury is at an angle?,” asked Laufenberg.

Yes,” answered Dr. Corliss.

Would you agree with me that this injury is a seat belt injury?,” asked Laufenberg.

It could be, it's not as clear as the other classic example, but it could be,” answered Corliss.

An investigator from the Merrill Police Department also took the stand. He told the court he spoke with Baumann after the crash and asked her what happened.

She said she remembers buying a pitcher of beer but nothing after that,” said the investigator.

The prosecution asked the investigator if he asked Baumann who was driving.

Did you ask her if there was any switch of the drivers?” asked Lincoln County District Attorney Don Dunphy.

Yes, I did,” said the investigator. “I asked her if they switched drivers at any point because talking with her mother (Baumman's mother) she had mentioned there might have been a switch.”

The investigator told the court Baumann said she didn't remember.

The prosecution is supposed to rest its case Thursday.

The judge says the jury is expected to start deliberating Monday.
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