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Former La Crosse County deputy unclear on details of fatal car crash

A former La Crosse County sheriff's deputy was reportedly unable to recall what happened in a fatal car crash she's accused of causing last year.

According to the Wisconsin State Patrol statements released late last week, the former deputy was "not sure" what caused the collision, during an interview by troopers two hours after the wreck that left a 16-year-old high school student dead.

The crash was at Hwys. 35 and OT in July of last year.

While the former deputy is reportedly fuzzy on the details of what happened, the data gleaned from her patrol car is much less so. That data shows she braked her vehicle at 1.6 seconds before the crash, slowing from 106 mph to 90 when she hit the Holmen High School student's car.

The former officer has been charged with homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle. She's scheduled to go on trial next month in La Crosse County Circuit Court.

The deputy had her lights and siren on as she raced to the scene of a "rowdy bar crowd," the La Crosse Tribune reports.

According to state law, officers are allowed to go through red lights, but only after slowing to ensure safety for themselves and others on the roads.

Though police officers can go through red lights, they're not protected by law "from the consequences of his or her reckless disregard for the safety or others," according to court documents.

The deputy was fired from her job in August, but because she continues to appeal that decision, continues to get paid her salary.

We've been following this tragic case for some time and will continue to do so, as we're sure many of you will, too.

Source: "Stratman's memory fuzzy on cause of fatal crash," Anne Jungen, Oct. 7, 2011

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