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Homicide charged in traffic death

October 9, 2012
By KYLE WHITNEY - Journal Staff Writer ( , The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE - A Wisconsin man now charged with homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle related to the Friday death of an Ishpeming teen had a blood alcohol content more than three times the legal limit and was driving the wrong way with his lights off at the time of the crash, according to court documents.

Timothy C. Christ, of Wausaukee, Wis., has been charged by the Marinette County District Attorney with eight counts in connection with a two-car accident in Middle Inlet, Wis., that resulted in the death of 13-year-old Christopher Croley, of Ishpeming. Croley's mother Jodi Betts Croley was driving and was injured in the crash, as were his two sisters, Taylor and Gabrielle Croley. The accident took place at approximately 11:30 p.m. Friday on U.S. 141 near Middle Inlet, Wis.

According to the criminal complaint against Christ, 28, witness statements indicated that Christ's black pickup truck left the parking lot of the I Don't Know Saloon and pulled onto U.S. 141.

Witnesses said the truck, which had no headlights on at the time, began traveling north in the southbound lane of the highway and hit a southbound Chevy, driven by Jodi Croley, almost directly head on.

According to the complaint, at the scene of the accident, Christ told officers he had a few drinks, and requested a blood test, in lieu of a preliminary breath test.

The blood test taken roughly an hour after the crash showed Christ's blood alcohol content at .262 percent. In Wisconsin, it is illegal to operate a vehicle with a BAC in excess of .08 percent.

Employees at the bar Christ had left said he seemed "buzzed", but was not visibly intoxicated and appeared fine to drive.

Christ was also convicted in 2007 of operating while intoxicated, according to the criminal complaint.

Two of the charges against Christ - homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle while having prior intoxicant-related conviction/revocation and homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle with prohibited alcohol concentration while having prior intoxicant-related conviction - are each punishable by up to 40 years in prison. The other six, injury-related, charges are each punishable by up to six years in prison.

Christ was scheduled for an initial appearance this morning in Marinette County Circuit Court.

Kyle Whitney can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250.



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