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Driver charged with homicide


Suspect accused of killing pedestrian

By Robert Cloud

The driver accused of hitting a pedestrian who was helping a motorist now faces multiple felony charges.

Evan Barnick, 20, Oshkosh, was charged Monday, Nov. 6, with homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle, hit-and-run involving death, first-degree reckless endangerment, a third OWI, operating while revoked and operating a vehicle without a court-ordered ignition interlocking device.

Around midnight Sunday, Oct. 29, 77-year-old Gerald Pagel, of New London was helping a woman whose vehicle had just struck a deer.

They were standing on the side of County Trunk W at Brehmer Road in the town of Caledonia.

According to the criminal complaint, a dark-colored Ford truck was travelling southbound on County W.

The woman told investigators that the truck was moving fast as it headed toward them.

Pagel waved his flashlight in an effort to alert the truck driver to slow down. The woman dived into a ditch to avoid being hit.

She said she heard Pagel yell, “They are going to kill us,” just before the truck fatally struck him.

The driver allegedly did not slow down and continued southbound toward State Highway 96.

Deputies began searching for the truck and ultimately pulled it over on U.S. Highway 45 north of State 96 in Caledonia.

The driver was identified as Barnick. The truck was registered to a relative.

A records check indicated that Barnick has two prior drunken driving convictions, his license was revoked, he was restricted to a 0.02 blood-alcohol content and required to operate vehicles with an ignition interlock device installed.

Deputies reported that Barnick smelled of alcohol. He admitted to consuming alcohol, but denied striking a pedestrian, the complaint says.

Barnick is currently being held in custody on a $50,000 cash bond.

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