Hit-and-Run Suspect Could Face Homicide Charges After Victim Dies
Dolores M. Kopacz, 82, who was hit by Kevin P. Brown in December, has died. The District Attorney is investigating whether the death is connected to injuries from the crash.
The 82-year-old Port Washington woman who was injured in December by a hit-and-run driver has died, and sentencing for the man responsible was subsequently delayed while the District Attorney investigates whether her death was related to the crash.
Dolores M. Kopacz was struck by Kevin P. Brown while he was driving drunk to work on Dec. 19. Kopacz died on Saturday.
Brown was found guilty of "hit and run causing great bodily harm and intoxicated use of a motor vehicle ," in June, and was scheduled to appear in court for his sentencing on Tuesday. Sentencing has been rescheduled for 3:30 p.m. Thursday.
If Kopacz's injuries contributed to her death, District Attorney Adam Gerol said he could change the charges against Brown from "injury" to "homicide" by the intoxicated use of a motor vehicle, according to an Ozaukee Press article.
Kopacz's obituary appears in the GilletteNewsRecord.com, the newspaper for the area in which her daughter resides. The obituary blames the crash for her death.
"Mrs. Kopacz, 82, of Port Washington died Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012, at Campbell County Memorial Hospital in Gillette of extended complications from injuries received in a automobile accident in December 2011," it says.
Brown had been on his way to work in Sheboygan when he struck Dolores Kopacz, according to the criminal complaint. Kopacz was walking on County Highway KK (Moore Road) near North Spring Street and the railroad tracks in the Town of Port Washington. Realizing he had hit a person, Brown pulled his vehicle over but then left the scene in a panic. Family later urged him to turn himself in, and he did.
Brown was arrested about 2 p.m. that day. During the arrest, officers detected a strong odor of alcohol on his breath. A preliminary breath test showed a 0.17 blood alcohol content.
Kopacz sustained head, leg and arm injuries and was transported by ambulance to St. Mary’s Ozaukee Hospital and then transferred to Froedtert Memorial Hospital in Wauwautosa by Flight for Life.
Services for Kopacz will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday at St. Mary's in Port, the obituary said.