Pribbernow charged with homicide
Police say driver who allegedly killed pedestrian was drunk
The man accused of a hit-and-run fatality appeared in court on Friday.
Michael G. Pribbernow, 46, Waupaca, is charged with homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle, hit and run resulting in death, operating a vehicle while revoked and a third offense of operating while intoxicated.
Shortly after 3 a.m. Saturday, July 28, a 911 call reported a man was lying on Golke Road between County Trunk Q and Knight Lane in the town of Farmington.
The caller reported there was a large pool of blood around the man’s head, and he was not moving or breathing.
Officers and paramedics arrived at the scene and determined the man was dead.
He was identified as 18-year-old Timothy Cruse II, of Amherst.
An autopsy revealed Cruse’s fatal injuries were consistent with being struck by a vehicle.
Investigators received an anonymous tip that Pribbernow had been at the Wheelhouse on the night of the crash and his black Ford pickup had been recently damaged.
On Friday, Aug. 3, officers questioned Pribbernow.
According to the criminal complaint, Pribbernow told the investigators, “I thought you would be looking for me as I have two drunk driving arrests and live in the area.”
When asked to detail his activities on Friday and Saturday, July 27-28, Pribbernow said he started his day on July 27 around noon out on a boat on the Chain O’ Lakes.
He said he then went to the Harbor Bar after 4 p.m., returned home at 6:30 p.m., went to Wally’s Bar from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., then went to the Wheelhouse to meet friends and eat dinner, then returned to Wally’s Bar from midnight to approximately 1:50 p.m., then returned to the Wheelhouse to get his truck.
When asked how much he had to drink during the day, Pribbernow reportedly said, “Well, I know it was $140 worth of liquor.”
Pribbernow estimated he drank about 10 beers and four or five shots, the complaint says.
Pribbernow said the Wheelhouse was closed when he left the restaurant’s parking lot in his truck.
He allegedly traveled on County Trunk Q to Golke Road to his home on Evergreen Drive between 2:15 a.m. and 2:30 a.m. Saturday.
Pribbernow said he worked at the Wheelhouse from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, then went home.
On Aug. 1, Pribbernow washed his truck at Kwik Trip. Video shows he had removed a bug guard from his truck.
Investigators recovered the bug guard and noted damage to the passenger’s side.
On Aug. 2-3, Pribbernow worked at Waupaca Foundry, where officers located his Ford Ranger pickup. They noted a damaged passenger headlight, damage to the passenger side mirror and scratch marks on the passenger side of the truck.
The truck was seized and transported to the state crime lab.
A red stain on the truck’s undercarriage tested positive for blood. DNA analysis identified it as Cruse’s blood.
Video from cameras at the indian Crossing Casino and Peterson Marine show a dark pickup consistent with the one Pribbernow owns traveling north on County Q around the estimated time of Cruse’s death.
Pribbernow was convicted of two prior drunken driving offenses on Jan. 23, 2013, and Jan. 10, 2017.
He was eligible to reinstate his revoked driver’s license on Sept, 17, 2017, but DOT records indicate Pribbernow did not reinstate his license until July 30, 2018.