A Wisconsin hit-and-run driver is facing criminal charges after causing a wrong-way crash that left two men injured on U.S. 41 in Appleton.
The Wisconsin highway accident occurred on March 28, 2012, at about 10:35 p.m. on U.S. 41 near U.S. 10 in Appleton. Thirty-three-year-old Miguel V. Cruz of Appleton was driving a Chevrolet Lumina south in the northbound lane of U.S. 41 when he crashed head-on into a Chevrolet Aveo headed north. The car overturned onto the passenger side. The driver, 32-year-old Victor Rivera of Appleton, and his passenger, 31-year-old Rodney Gruse of Oshkosh, were seriously injured. Mr. Rivera sustained a fractured rib. He was taken to Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah where he was treated and released. Mr. Gruse suffered life-threatening injuries. After being extricated from the vehicle, he was taken to Theda Clark Medical Center and the flown to Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee.
Cruz exited his vehicle and fled from the scene. However, the police officers responding to the Wisconsin car crash found a box of business cards with Cruz’s identification. Cruz was found at a nearby gas station.
Cruz is being held at the Winnebago County Jail on a $25,000 cash bond. He has been charged with hit-and-run causing great bodily harm, operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and causing injury, and knowingly operating a motor vehicle with a suspended driver's license causing great bodily harm. If convicted of all three felonies, Cruz faces more than 24 years of imprisonment and $70,000 in fines. He may also be held liable for the injuries he caused through a Wisconsin civil lawsuit.