A Ladysmith man has been charged in Rusk County Circuit Court after he was extracted from a vehicle that had crashed and rolled into a ditch.

Matthew C. Skamfer, 60, has been charged with one count of misdemeanor bail jumping as a repeater, one count of first offense operating while in intoxicated causing injury and one count of first offense or operating with prohibited alcohol concentration causing injury.

If convicted, Skamfer could be sentenced to a maximum of $14,000 in fines or six years incarceration or both. Also if convicted, he risks having his drivers license revoked for two years and being required to undertake an alcohol and drug abuse assessment and follow through with any recommended treatment.

Skamfer appeared by phone in Rusk County Circuit Court on Tuesday, April 20 for an adjourned initial appearance hearing. He was ordered a $5,000 signature bond with the conditions to maintain absolute sobriety and to report to the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office daily for breath tests.

According to the criminal complaint, at 7:45 p.m., July 13 a Rusk County deputy was dispatched to a one-vehicle rollover crash with two people trapped in the vehicle near Sawdust Road and U.S. 8, Bruce.

The Bruce Fire Department, Emergency Management Services and two medical helicopters were also dispatched to the scene.

Upon arrival to the scene, the deputy noticed a white Ford Ranger on its roof in the steep south ditch of Sawdust Road that had failed to properly negotiate the curve. No brake marks could be seen in the road.

Skamfer was the driver and along with his passenger, had to be extricated from the truck with the Jaws of Life.

Several cold Natural Ice been cans, both full and empty, were scattered around the crash scene and inside of the truck, according to the criminal complaint. A smell of beer was coming from the vehicle. 

The passenger allegedly smelled strongly of intoxicants and refused to answer whether or not he had been drinking. The passenger was transported to the hospital for injuries he sustained in the crash.

The passenger admitted that Skamfer had had five beers prior to picking up the passenger and another two beers while they were working for about 90 minutes.

Before being transported from the scene by medical helicopter, the deputy noticed Skamfer had bloodshot, glassy eyes, his speech was slurred and he smelled of intoxicants.

A search warrant was obtained and a blood draw was completed at the Eau Claire hospital that Skamfer was transported to. At the time of the crash, Skamfer’s blood alcohol content was .216.

At the time of the crash Skamfer had an open bond with the condition that he would not commit any crime.

Skamfer is scheduled to appear May 4 in Rusk County Circuit Court for a review hearing.


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