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Trucker arrested after allegedly missing exit and backing up on highway, causing fatal crash


A truck driver has been arrested and charged in connection with a fatal crash that occurred in Wisconsin last week.

On January 9, 48 year old Florida-based truck driver Thony Renelique was arrested in Du Page County, Illinois, in connection to a fatal crash that occurred on January 7.

Renelique has been charged with homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office located in Wisconsin.

The crash happened around 8 p.m. on January 7 on Highway 45 northbound just south of Highway 60 in the Village of Jackson, Wisconsin.

From a news release from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office:

Renelique told investigators on the night of the accident that he was driving his semi-tractor trailer northbound on USH 45 approaching STH 60. He said he began to slow down to exit when he was rear-ended by a northbound van. Evidence at the scene was not consistent with that version of events, but Renelique continued to say he was driving northbound around 40mph when hit. Authorities continued the investigation throughout the weekend. On Saturday, investigators obtained surveillance video from a local business that confirmed the investigator’s suspicions. Renelique had missed his exit and came to a complete stop in the lane of traffic. He activated his hazard lights and then began a backing maneuver on the highway. While backing up on the freeway the trailer was struck. The victim, a 49-year-old, West Bend man was killed.

On January 8, police attempted to contact Renelique but found that he had left Wisconsin. He was tracked by investigators to the Chicago area, where police contacted him. Renelique then “confessed to authorities and said he lied because he was in shock.”

“These professional partnerships enabled this rapidly evolving investigation to culminate with an arrest being made out of state within 48 hours. This was a tragic incident that impacted many. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all that were tragically affected by this,” Washington County Sheriff Martin Schulteis said.

Renelique could face up to ten years in prison if convicted.


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