Trucker asks court to toss out 2017 homicide charge

A truck driver who was at the wheel when his semi crashed into a stopped vehicle near Granton in July 2017 and killed a man is asking the court to dismiss criminal charges against him because of an alleged “destruction of evidence.”
A judge next week will consider the motion filed by an attorney for 55-year-old Roger Waltemate of Neillsville, who was driving a Lynn Dairy semi truck on July 10, 2017, when it plowed from behind into a line of cars that were stopped by a flagman at a Highway 10 construction zone. Forty-seven-year-old Anthony Phipps of Granton was killed in the crash, and Waltemate was charged almost 18 months later with six felony charges related to the collision. Now, attorney Roberta Heckes has filed a motion to dismiss the case, alleging that the truck Waltemate was driving was not properly preserved for evidence and that is preventing her client from establishing his defense.
Waltemate told officers following the crash “that he tried at least 3 times to brake the truck, and the brakes would not properly engage,” according to the motion to dismiss. Waltemate was eastbound on Highway 10 just east of Granton, and four vehicles were stopped awaiting a flagman’s direction. Waltemate’s truck struck the last vehicle, driven by Phipps, and that caused a chain-reaction that damaged two other vehicles and caused injury to occupants.

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