Medford man convicted of causing fatal buggy crash to be sentenced in August

Skyler Opelt
Skyler Opelt(Taylor County Jail)
Published: Jun. 2, 2022 at 12:14 PM CDT
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MEDFORD, Wis. (WSAW) - A 35-year-old Medford man charged with causing a crash that killed a woman and injured her eight children is scheduled to be sentenced in August.

Skyler Opelt pleaded no contest to homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle, and four counts of reckless driving during a plea deal Thursday morning. He was convicted as result.

Investigators said Opelt was driving on County Highway E in the town of Little Black when he struck a buggy. When deputies arrived on the scene, Opelt said he did not see the buggy. The crash was reported around 2:45 p.m. on Nov. 24.

Deputies said Opelt had slurred speech and glassy eyes, but he denied using drugs. At the scene, a deputy noticed Opelt laying on the ground. His face turned gray and he was nonresponsive. Narcan was administered at the scene and he began to open his eyes.

A witness said Opelt did not assist with injuries and said ‘no’ when asked to help get a horse off of a child. Instead, he stood at the scene and smoked a cigarette, according to court documents.

A Taylor County Jail Sergeant discovered Opelt had made calls to an inmate before, during and after the crash. In the record calls, court documents state an inmate asked Opelt to put money in her account using an app. During the call, a loud noise, which was the crash, was heard. Opelt tells the person he crashed because they kept calling. The inmate said she never would have called if she knew Opelt was driving.

Court documents state Opelt later admitted to snorting drugs, but he was not sure what.

The victim of the crash was a 36-year-old woman. She died two days after the crash due to her injuries.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Aug. 15.

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