A Walworth County man whose drunken driving led to the death of his passenger in Milton in September was sentenced Friday in Rock County Court.
Joseph R. Overbeek, 21, of W8680 Harris Road, rural Delavan, pleaded guilty and was sentenced on a charge of homicide by intoxicated driving, according to online court records.
Judge Barbara McCrory sentenced Overbeek to five years in prison plus 10 years of extended supervision, online court records show.
A charge of driving while suspended, causing death, was dismissed but considered at sentencing.
Overbeek was driving with a passenger, Derek Lee Garber, 20, of Milton, in the early-morning hours of Sept. 8 on East High Street near Chicago Street in Milton when the small car crashed into a parked dump truck, according to the criminal complaint.
The driver-side airbag deployed. The passenger-side bag did not, according to the complaint. Garber died from his injuries.
Overbeek told officers at the scene he and Garber were drinking at a party in Newville, and Overbeek was taking Garber home. A cooler of beer was found in the back seat.
In a victim-impact statement, Garber’s father, identified only as K.W.G., wrote that he lost his son and best friend.
“Sending Joe to jail will not fix anything,” the father wrote. “One life was lost because of bad choices. We do not need to lose another one.”
Garber’s grandparents, identified as V.L.H. and R.E.H., also wrote a victim-impact statement, noting Overbeek was 20 at the time of the crash and not of legal drinking age. They described being called to the hospital to hear the devastating news.
“Our lives will never be the same,” they wrote. They called for the maximum penalty, which includes 25 years in the prison system.
“It’s time a lesson was learned from this case,” they wrote.