Unborn Baby Killed in Crash, Man Charged

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ORFORDVILLE (WIFR) – A Janesville man is now charged with murder after a car accident caused a pregnant mother to lose her unborn baby.

Police say around 5:30 p.m. Thursday they responded to a two-car accident on West STH 11 near Genesis Drive in the Village of Orfordville. Investigators say a 2003 Chevrolet was traveling eastbound on W. STH 11 when the vehicle drifted into the south shoulder of the road. The driver, 26-year-old Brandon Russell of Janesville, overcorrected and lost control of the car, causing the vehicle to slide across the centerline.

Russell then struck a westbound 2003 Toyota Sedan, driven by a 29-year-old pregnant woman from Brodhead.

The 29-year-old woman and her 4-year-old son were taken to Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center in Janesville. The woman, who was 34 weeks pregnant, was rushed into surgery and eventually lost her baby as a result of her injuries sustained in the crash. The woman was admitted at Mercy and her 4-year-old was treated at Mercy and later transported to Rockford Memorial Hospital with possible internal injuries.

Russell and his 2-year-old twin boys were also taken to Mercy Hospital where they were treated and released with non-life threatening injuries. Russell admitted to smoking marijuana prior to the crash and refused a legal blood draw. A search warrant was later obtained to retrieve a blood sample.

Once Russell was released from the hospital, police say he was arrested for homicide by intoxicated use of motor vehicle, a third OWI offense with a passenger under 16, 4 counts of OWI (3 of which were felonies), Operating While Suspended Causing Death, and Operating a Motor Vehicle Without Insurance in addition to other drug charges.

The crash is still under investigation. We will continue to update you as we learn more.

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