By NIKKI YOUNK
MARINETTE, Wis. - An Illinois man accused of causing a fatal accident in Marinette County while intoxicated has entered not guilty pleas to his charges.
Joseph Hayes, 43, of Lemont, Ill. was in Marinette County Court for a hearing.
According to online court documents, Hayes and his attorney Royce Finne agreed to waive the preliminary examination in the matter. They then entered not guilty pleas, the documents indicate.
Judge James A. Morrison scheduled a motion hearing for Jan. 15.
Hayes faces one felony count of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle, one felony count of homicide by use of a vehicle while operating with a prohibited alcohol concentration, one misdemeanor count of cause injury while operating under the influence, and one misdemeanor count of cause injury while operating with a prohibited alcohol concentration.
If convicted, Hayes could spend up to 50 years in prison.
The charges against Hayes stem from a Sept. 27 incident in the town of Pound, Wis.
Deputies from the Marinette County Sheriff's Department allege that Hayes was traveling south in the northbound lane of U.S. 141 about 10:55 p.m. when he struck another vehicle head-on.
The driver of that vehicle, 21-year-old Kristian Reed of Niagara, Wis., died from injuries sustained in the crash.
A vehicle traveling behind Reed's vehicle was also struck.
The driver of that vehicle, 36-year-old Elvis Tucek of Homer Glen, Ill., sustained non-incapacitating injuries.
Deputies believed that alcohol was a factor in the accident.
Nikki Younk's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.