Suspected heroin user, accused in double-hit crash, killed jogger in 2004

Suspected heroin user, accused in double-hit crash, killed jogger in 2004

The man arrested in connection with a double-strike crash in downtown Madison last week was convicted of killing a woman by negligent operation of a vehicle 12 years ago.

Nathaniel L. Stanek, 40, of Madison, was in Dane County court Tuesday afternoon on two charges related to the crash Thursday. Stanek is accused of rear-ending a 34-year-old Middleton woman’s car at a stoplight two times.

According to a criminal complaint, the officer who responded to the crash Thursday saw needles, a tourniquet, metal tea candle holders and cotton balls inside Stanek’s car. The officer said the items are all associated with shooting heroin. The officer also reported that Stanek appeared impaired, having difficulty walking in taking wide, unsteady steps and swayed while squatted down looking at his damaged car. His eyes were also glossy and he had trouble keeping them open, the criminal compliant said.

Records show Nathaniel Stanek, with the same address and birthday, was sentenced to 14 months in prison in May 2005 for hitting and killing Amy Ward as she was jogging on a rural Stoughton road on Aug. 26, 2004. His license was suspended until August 2009. Stanek had multiple drugs, including morphine and Valium, in his system when he hit Ward.

The woman driving the car Stanek reportedly hit Thursday told police she saw Stanek through her rear-view mirror just before her car was struck and he appeared to be passed out in the driver’s seat, according to the criminal complaint.

Online records show Stanek’s home is a couple blocks east of where the crash took place Thursday.

Stanek told police Thursday he was playing video games on his cellphone when firefighters knocked on his window at the intersection of South First Street and East Washington Avenue. He told officials he wasn’t involved in a crash, but he didn’t know what caused the new damage on the front of his vehicle.

Stanek is also facing a possession of narcotics and possession of drug paraphernalia from an incident on July 8, 2015.

Stanek faces two new charges in the South First Street incident including possession of drug paraphernalia and bail jumping connected to his pending July 2015 drug charges.

Stanek denied using heroin on Thursday and told police he wasn’t a daily user and that he’d last injected the drug two days earlier.