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Police: Bishop intoxicated in fatal pedestrian accident

Alcohol abuse is one of those things that easily spills over into other people's lives, and this is especially the case when a drinker decides to drive. No matter what a person's social standing is in the community, it only takes a split second for a drunken decision to have catastrophic consequences.

People in Wisconsin have probably seen headlines in the last week about a 59-year-old Lutheran Bishop whose SUV struck a pedestrian in Sun Prairie. According to authorities in Dane County, the bishop's blood-alcohol level after the fatal accident was 0.128 percent, meaning he was well over the legal limit.

His SUV had already crossed a median and collided with a lamppost before hitting and killing the 52-year-old woman, who was jogging just before she was struck. She was married and had three children, and her family said she was a passionate runner.

Police took a statement from one witness who said the bishop apparently made no effort to brake after his SUV hit the woman. Witnesses also said that he drove into an intersection and collided with another vehicle, then drove the wrong way on the road and made a right turn into a gas station.

He apparently had difficulty operating the vehicle behind the gas station, and he was eventually detained by concerned citizens in the parking lot. His vehicle was significantly damaged. Another witness also reported that the man was driving erratically before the fatal accident.

The bishop is charged with a number of crimes, including homicide and hit and run. The family of the deceased woman could also have legal recourse through a wrongful death lawsuit.

Source: lacrossetribune.com, "Lutheran Bishop charged in fatal crash," April 11, 2013

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