Pregnant driver’s unborn child dies after crash

A pregnant driver’s unborn fetus died and five others were injured after a crash in Rock County Thursday afternoon, officials said.

The Orfordville Police Department said an officer came across a two-vehicle accident on West Highway 11 near Genesis Drive at about 5:30 p.m.

Police said 26-year-old Brandon L. Russell, of Janesville, was driving east on West Highway 11 when the vehicle drifted onto the south shoulder of the road. Russell reportedly overcorrected and lost control. The vehicle slid across the center line and struck a westbound car driven by a pregnant 29-year-old woman from Brodhead.

The woman, who was 34 weeks pregnant, and her 4-year-old son were taken to Mercy Hospital in Janesville, according to the report. The woman was rushed into surgery, but lost her baby as a result of injuries suffered in the crash, police said.

The 4-year-old was treated at Mercy and later taken to Rockford Memorial Hospital with possible internal injuries.

Russell and his twin 2-year-old boys were also taken to Mercy Hospital, were treated and released for non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

Police said Russell admitted to smoking marijuana prior to the crash. He refused a legal blood draw and a search warrant was obtained to retrieve a blood sample.

When Russell was released from the hospital, he was arrested for homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle, possession of THC, possession of drug paraphernalia, third-offense OWI with a passenger under 16, four counts of OWI causing injury (three of which were felonies), operating while suspended causing death and operating a motor vehicle without insurance.

Russell was taken at the Rock County Jail and held for an initial court appearance on Monday in the Rock County court.

The Wisconsin State Patrol is doing the crash reconstruction, which is under investigation.

An autopsy on the baby was scheduled Friday at the Dane County morgue.