Man claims no memory of fatal crash
Dees, 33, says he has no memory of why his Jeep on Nov. 16 twice swerved into oncoming traffic, hitting the car carrying Carter Dorwin, who died in the crash. Dees made the statement from a hospital bed in Milwaukee while being treated for critical injuries, according to court documents.
Dees on Friday appeared by video before Walworth County Judge Robert Kennedy, who read the three criminal charges filed against the defendant. Dees was nursing a broken left arm, an injury he apparently suffered in the crash, according to court records.
The Elkhorn man is charged with felony homicide by reckless use of a vehicle and two counts of misdemeanor reckless driving causing injury. The lesser charges are based on minor injuries suffered by Carter’s mother, Nicole Dorwin, 36, who was driving the car, and Bradley Dorwin, 4.
About 20 people attended the hearing to support the Dorwins or Dees. He remained in jail on $250,000 cash bail.
The criminal complaint filed Friday shed no light on why Dees’ Jeep crossed the centerline.
Authorities issued a press release shortly after the fatal crash saying Dees was suspected of driving drunk based on an incomplete breath test at the scene. Blood test results later revealed Dees had no alcohol in his system.
When a Walworth County sheriff’s deputy arrived at the crash, he saw Nicole holding Bradley. Nicole told the deputy that her other son, Carter, was dead. His body was in the car.
Nicole initially told the deputy that Dees swerved into her lane twice, striking her car on the second swerve.
A week later, Nicole told the deputy that the Jeep was completely driving in her lane of traffic but went back to his lane. Nicole slowed, but the Jeep again swerved into her lane. Nicole nearly came to a complete stop but was struck as she veered onto the shoulder of the highway.
Accident reconstruction verified that Nicole’s car was struck in her traffic lane, but the speed at which the Jeep was traveling had not been determined. Nicole said she was surprised at how fast the Jeep was traveling.
The felony carries a prison term of up to 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000. The lesser charges each carry a jail term of up to one year and a fine of no more than $3,000. Dees’ next court appearance is 1 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10.
Last updated: 3:54 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012