Olivia R. Sammartino, an 18-year-old woman from Wisconsin Rapids, was issued an underage drinking citation approximately two hours before sustaining injuries in a car crash on Monday, February 13. Thinking she may have been driving while drunk, authorities arrested Sammartino later with charges of suspected Operating While Intoxicated (OWI).
Sammartino was issued a citation by a Nekoosa police officer at 2:29 am Monday, which was not a criminal offense because she is 18 years-old. According to Chief Deputy Randy Dorshorst of the Wood County Sheriff’s Department, Sammartino was not detained and her parents were not notified of the underage drinking ticket because she is the age of a legal adult.
While authorities are unsure of what took place between the time of the underage drinking citation and the time of the crash, Sammartino crashed her car at a location approximately 15 minutes from the apartment where she received her underage drinking ticket.
While driving on Griffith Avenue by Weslan Drive, Sammartino crossed her car over the centerline and collided with an oncoming car. The Wood County Sheriff’s Department Accident Report has identified the driver of the other car as Wisconin Rapids resident Andrew F. Hintz, 33.
After hitting Hintz’s car, Sammartino’s car went back into its lane, then exited the road, went through a ditch which crossed Weslan Drive, and hit a stop sign. Hintz’s car landed in the ditch on the other side of the road and collided with a tree.
Sammartino was transported by helicopter to Marshfield’s Ministry Saint Joseph’s Hospital, and was released the next day.
The attorneys and staff of the Madison office of the Hupy and Abraham law firm are distressed at each instance of drunk driving. We firmly believe that traffic safety is everyone’s concern, and we are pleased that this accident did not result in more serious injuries.