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Man impaired when he crashed SUV, killing passenger, complaint says

TOWN OF MONTROSE, Wis. - A Madison man is facing a homicide charge in connection with the death of his passenger in a crash early Saturday, according to a criminal complaint.

William B. Payne Jr., 52, is was charged in Dane County court Tuesday with homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle.

According to a criminal complaint, deputies responded at 1:46 a.m. to a report of a single-SUV rollover on Highway 69 at County Road A in the town of Montrose. A 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser was in the ditch with two people inside; Payne and 50-year-old William M. Sowaske. Sowaske, also known as W. Max Sowaske, was pronounced dead at the scene.

An officer and a deputy both said they smelled the odor of intoxicants on Payne at the scene. A deputy said he found a bottle of beer lying on the ground behind the wrecked vehicle.

Payne was extracted from the Cruiser and taken to UW Hospital, the complaint said. Deputies who spoke with Payne at the hospital said his speech was slurred at 3:30 a.m. and 5:24 a.m., about 2 hours and then 4 hours after the report of the crash.

A Dane County medical examiner said after an autopsy on Sowaske that he died of blunt force trauma to the head, neck, torso and extremities as a result of the crash, according to the criminal complaint.

According to online court records, Payne appeared in court Tuesday. Payne stood mute and the court entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. Payne's next court date is scheduled Jan. 9 at 1:30 p.m.

Payne told a deputy at the scene that he saw a deer before the wreck, according to the complaint. A witness told a deputy she saw the vehicle rolling, and it came across the road, facing her vehicle, and nearly struck her before she saw it roll into the ditch, where it came to rest.

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