(Town of Calamus) The Dodge County District Attorney’s Office says a Beaver Dam man will not face OWI Homicide charges for his role in a fatal highway accident that occurred in 2017. On August 17, 37-year-old Kayla Davis of Beaver Dam had apparently exited her vehicle at 5am on Highway 151 in the Town of Calamus to help a motorist involved in an unrelated accident.
According to findings released by the District Attorney’s office documenting the crash, Davis stopped behind another vehicle in the left lane of southbound Highway 151 – just north of Forest Road – to render aid, exited her SUV and walked onto the shoulder of the median. 30-year-old Troy Kelm was driving a southbound pickup truck and was unable to go into the right-hand lane because of morning traffic. He reportedly swerved onto the shoulder to avoid striking her SUV but instead struck Davis.
Kelm remained on scene after contacting 911 and declined a voluntary blood draw after he notified police that he had smoked marijuana the night before. No officer reported that they noticed any indication of impairment, but at Kelm’s request, did perform a field sobriety test. After the test was concluded, Kelm was arrested for OWI First Offense and blood was later taken under Wisconsin’s Implied Consent Law.
This past August a jury acquitted Kelm on the OWI charges and on a traffic citation. The blood test revealed that Kelm had no delta-9 THC in his system, which is an ingredient in marijuana that causes impairment, and showed that he was not under the influence of THC at the time of the crash.
Last January, the Davis family had contacted the District Attorney’s Office confused that no homicide charges had been filed against Kelm. During a January 31st meeting, the family informed law enforcement that there were several witnesses that had not been interviewed or fully interviewed yet. At the conclusion of the meeting a decision was made to re-open the case for investigation.
In the months that followed, the Sheriff’s Office Crash Team conducted additional interviews, sought video security footage from nearby businesses and took a closer look at road conditions and weather patterns on the day of the crash. Once completed, the team submitted a “review sufficient” referral to the District Attorney’s Office for Homicide by Intoxicated Use of a Vehicle. The referral means the crash team is only providing a file for review and is not referring actual charges.
In light of the concerns from the Davis family, the District Attorney’s Office determined a second opinion was warranted and contacted the Wisconsin State Patrol Technical Reconstruction Unit. Following their own, independent review of the case, the State Patrol’s deconstructionists reinforced the Sheriff’s Office original decision not to request charges.
District Attorney Kurt Klomberg says a prosecutor should not file or pursue charges against an individual unless they believe those charges can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt and it is that principle that guide’s the State’s decision in this case. He added that all the investigators, attorneys and agencies involved in this lengthy investigation offer their deepest sympathies to the family of Kayla Davis.
Click the following links to read more about the District Attorney’s findings: