An Eau Claire man will spend 30 days in jail for speeding on North Hastings Way, causing a crash that injured another motorist and then walking away.
Christopher J. Sullens, 28, 1015 Emery St., pleaded guilty recently in Eau Claire County Court to a misdemeanor count of causing injury by reckless driving.
Felony counts of second-degree recklessly endangering safety and causing injury by hit and run were dismissed.
Judge Jon Theisen placed Sullens on one year of probation, fined him $1,322 and ordered him to pay $4,906 in restitution.
Sullens was ordered to write a letter of apology to the victim.
According to the criminal complaint:
Eau Claire police responded to a crash involving three vehicles — a legally parked van, another van in the road and a car — in the 2800 block of Eddy Lane at about 2:26 a.m. on April 29, 2018.
Just before 2:24 a.m., an officer traveling west on Seymour Road near Western Avenue saw a vehicle traveling north on North Hastings Way at a high rate of speed. Estimating the vehicle’s speed at more than 100 mph, the officer turned his squad car around, but the vehicle was no longer in sight.
Minutes later, dispatch notified the officer of the crash on Eddy Lane and that two people took off on foot after crashing the vehicle.
Another officer at the scene was told by a couple who reported they owned the parked van that the driver of the other van was in the road outside the vehicle. The officer found the woman, who was on her hands and knees and said something hurt. She was transported to an area hospital.
A witness told the officer he had been sleeping when he heard what sounded like a vehicle speeding down the road and then a crash. Going outside, the witness saw the crash and a white male stumbling, possibly hurt. The male and another person left the scene.
Inside the car, an officer found multiple pieces of paperwork and a pill bottle with Sullens’ name on them.
Another witness told that officer she saw two males exit the car — one with blonde hair and the other with a beard. She said they appeared intoxicated and were slurring their words.
The city’s public space cameras picked up the striking vehicle first traveling north on South Hastings Way at Kirk Street. The distance between Kirk and Eddy Lane is 3.69 miles. The car traveled that distance in 149 seconds. Based on information obtained from the cameras, an officer estimated the vehicle’s speed ranged from 90 to 122 mph.
Later that day, an officer was sent to Mayo Clinic Health System’s emergency department, where he met with Sullens.
Sullens claimed he turned a corner, heard a “pop” sound, looked up and struck the vehicle. He said he briefly lost consciousness and that his passenger woke him up. They got out of the car and called Sullens’ girlfriend who came and picked them up.
Sullens said he went home, cleaned his wounds and went to sleep. He said he feared he broke his ankle when he woke up, so he then went to the hospital.
Sullens denied using alcohol or other drugs and initially claimed he was driving only five miles over the speed limit. When the officer told him about the public space camera information, Sullens then admitted he was going “pretty fast,” but he denied going more than 100 mph.