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Driver of pickup to face trial after passenger's death

Brandon Bender
Brandon Bender

WAUSAU, WI (WSAU) -  The driver in an unusual traffic mishap will face trial. 27-year-old Brandon Bender of Antigo was charged with 2nd degree recklessly endangering safety and operating a vehicle under the influence of a controlled substance.

According to the criminal complaint, Bender admitted drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana before driving his truck through Elderon April 7th. His girlfriend was 27-year-old Catherine Borchardt. She died from severe trauma to the head.   Investigators believe Borchardt would have survived if she would have received medical attention sooner.

Judge Greg Huber ruled there was enough evidence to bind Bender over for trial Thursday during a preliminary hearing.

Bender remains free on a 15-thousand dollar signature bond, but must remain at home except under specific work, child care, and appointment conditions.  He faces up to ten years in prison if convicted.