Mother faces vehicular homicide charge

Daughter killed in crash possibly caused by cocaine use

By Mike Heine/The Week

(Published Dec. 18, 2006, 11:38 a.m.)

A 34-year-old woman faces a vehicular homicide charge for allegedly having cocaine in her system when she crashed her car into an oncoming truck, the impact of which killed her 7-year-old daughter.

Sheri L. Long, 217 N. Fremont St., Whitewater, had "more than trace" amounts of cocaine in her blood, District Attorney Phil Koss said.

Unlike alcohol, Wisconsin allows zero tolerance for illegal drugs in one's bloodstream when a driver using them is involved in a crash.

According to a criminal complaint, Long was eastbound in her Geo on the Highway 12 bypass near Cox Road in the town of Whitewater Jan. 27. She crossed into the westbound lane of traffic and crashed head-on with a pickup truck that was slowing to turn right onto Cox Road.

Long's daughter, Jada Lynn, died from head injuries sustained in the crash, Walworth County Coroner John Griebel said. She was wearing her seatbelt.

Accident reconstruction showed no signs of Long braking at the scene of the crash, the complaint reads.

Long faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted of the single felony charge. She was issued a $20,000 signature bond and ordered to have no alcohol before driving and absolutely no controlled substances.

Long's case did not reach the court system until now because blood test results were not available from the state crime lab.



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