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Prescott man accused of talking on phone while causing fatal crash

Brass Milled Gavel By walknboston (Flickr: Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Brass Milled Gavel By walknboston (Flickr: Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

ST. CROIX COUNTY, WI (WTAQ) - A western Wisconsin man is due in court November 8th, after he was accused of causing a fatal traffic crash while chatting on a cellphone.

65-year-old Thomas Geistfeld of Prescott was charged last week in St. Croix County with negligent homicide and second-degree reckless homicide.

Authorities said he was trying to pass a truck that was pulling a trailer, when his vehicle fish-tailed on a wet road and hit an oncoming car. The driver of that car, 37-year-old Dawn Anderson of New Richmond, was killed.

The crash happened in late September of last year on St. Croix County Trunk “I” in the town of Joseph.

A reconstruction team found that Geistfeld was driving from 73 to 94 miles an hour in a 55-zone. Officials said Geistfeld threw down his cellphone to try and get his vehicle back under control.

State lawmakers have occasionally talked about banning cellphone use behind the wheel – but a statewide bill has never been introduced, although some communities ban the practice. Wisconsin did ban drivers from writing and reading text messages in 2010.