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‘Suspicious’: Sober driver arrested for drunk driving after deputy runs stop sign and crashes into her car

Tanya Weyker of Milwaukee, Wisconsin has been fighting for over a year to clear her name and get her medical bills paid following a serious car accident with a Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Deputy.

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Damage to Tanya Weyker's car after the accident. (WITI)

WITI Fox6 investigated Weyker’s story in depth and reported about her ongoing struggle. It all started on the night of February 20, 2013, when Deputy Joseph Quiles, with the airport division of the Sheriff’s Office, T-boned Weyker’s Camry, sending it spinning into a tree. It would be discovered later that Weyker broke her neck in four places. She told the station, “It was a miracle I wasn’t paralyzed.”

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Tanya Weyker's neck x-ray after the car accident and surgery. (WITI)

After the accident, police and sheriff’s deputies interviewed those on the scene. Weyker recalled, “One deputy asked if I had anything to drink that night and I told him how I just had a few sips of a friend’s drink.” The deputy noted that she had a light odor of alcohol on her breath and that her speech was slurred. Another note said her eyes looked red and glassy. But Weyker, a 25-year-old with a spotless record said, “I explained to him my eyes were red and glassy because I was crying.” When asked about any prescription medication she had taken, Weyker told the deputy that she last took Vicodin the previous week when she had her wisdom teeth pulled.

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Tanya Weyker (WITI)

Ms. Weyker’s injuries were too severe for officers to issue a field sobriety test and even get a breath sample. However, Weyker was arrested anyway on five charges including, “drunk driving causing injury.” Tests would later prove Weyker’s innocence finding no trace of alcohol or drugs in her system.

So why was she arrested? Todd Korb, Weyker’s lawyer, told WITI that the arrest was surprising because the authorities had virtually no evidence she was drunk. Korb said, “I can’t say it is necessarily a cover up, but it is suspicious.” Andrew Mishlove, a drunk driving defense expert, told the station that the only cause to arrest Weyker would have been if Deputy Quiles pointed the finger at her. “I think he was trying to protect himself and his department, to be honest,” said Weyker.

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Deputy Joseph Quiles (Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office via WITI)

In Deputy Quiles’ original report, he claimed that he came to a full stop at the stop sign and never saw Weyker’s headlights (Weyker’s car’s headlights were automatic). However, airport surveillance footage surfaced two days after the crash and refuted Quiles’ first account, showing him rolling through the stop sign. Even though this evidence showed Quiles was at fault, Weyker was still sent threatening letters by the county saying legal action would be taken if she didn’t pay for the damages.

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Airport surveillance camera footage (WITI)

Ten months after the accident, after a Sheriff’s Office internal investigation, Quiles admitted that his first statements were wrong and that he was at fault for the accident. Quiles was suspended for nine days for the accident, but never punished for his false report, despite, WITI notes, “a previous history of discipline for filing reports written by someone else.”

Even though Quiles has admitted fault and the district attorney has decided to not file charges against Weyker, she is still waiting for the county to pay her mounting medical bills, which her attorney says could top one million dollars. Ms. Weyker has filed a complaint against the arresting deputy and may file a civil rights lawsuit against the county.

For many more details about the case that were uncovered by the WITI Fox6 investigative team click here.

Video and more info: WITI

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