Hit-and-run driver admits to having drugs, alcohol in car, police say

Hit-and-run driver admits to having drugs, alcohol in car, police say
Columbia County Sheriff's Office

A Waunakee man suspected in a hit-and-run crash that injured a motorcyclist near Lodi over the weekend told sheriff’s deputies his tire popped and that he didn’t hit anything, according to court documents.

Two motorcyclists were driving on County Road J near McGowan Road in the town of Lodi just before 5 p.m. when a car driving in the opposite direction crossed the center line, officials said.

According to a criminal complaint, a tan Buick LeSabre sideswiped one of the motorcyclists and kept driving.

A witness told deputies the car was seen driving on a flat front tire and not stopping at an intersection.

Deputies eventually caught up with the car, and the driver, 20-year-old Jacob Hellenbrand-Bell, of Waunakee, admitted to having a bag of marijuana, a pipe and an open bottle of alcohol in the car, officials said.

According to the complaint, Hellenbrand-Bell and his passenger told officer they didn’t hit anything and the car’s tire popped on its own.

Hellenbrand-Bell was arrested on tentative charges of hit-and-run causing bodily harm as a repeat offender, reckless driving causing great bodily harm as a repeat offender, possession of THC, possession of drug paraphernalia as a repeat offender, and on four counts of misdemeanor bail jumping.

Hellenbrand-Bell was in Columbia County Court Tuesday. His bail was set at $3,000. He is scheduled to be back in court on June 6.

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