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Doctor, dentist, and nurse killed in suspected drunk driving crash in Kenosha County

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KENOSHA COUNTY, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A doctor, dentist and a nurse, all from the same family, were killed in a suspected drunk driving crash Friday night in Kenosha County.

The Kenosha County Sheriff says the Rizzo family was driving home from dinner Friday when the suspect hit their Jeep from behind at about 100 miles an hour and killed three of the four family members. 

It happened around 6:45 p.m. Friday near Highway 50 and 216th Avenue in the Village of Bristol. 

Witnesses told investigators a white pickup was speeding and driving erratically just before the crash. 

All of the deceased were involved in the local medical community. Dr. Michael Rizzo, 67, was in family medicine. Investigators say he was riding in the front seat and was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Dr. Vincent Rizzo, 76, was a dentist and his wife Mary Rizzo, 74, was a registered nurse. Both were riding in the back seat and died after they were taken to area hospitals. 

Dr. Michael Rizzo, Dr. Vincent Rizzo, and Mary Rizzo Proko Funeral Home

The Kenosha County Sheriff's Office says the 72-year-old driver of the Jeep was taken to the hospital and is in stable condition.

The driver of the white GMC pickup is identified as 40-year-old Timothy Vandervere of Beach Park, Illinois. Vandervere was taken to a Milwaukee hospital where he is being treated for his injuries. When he is released, he will be brought to the Kenosha County Jail and booked on charges of:

  • Three counts of Reckless Homicide - Felony
  • Three Counts of Knowingly Operating After Revocation Causing Death - Felony
  • One Count of Reckless Injury - Felony 
  • One Count of Knowingly Operating After Revocation Causing Great Bodily Harm - Felony
  • Operating a Motor Vehicle Under the Influence - 1st Offence

The Sheriff's Department says in addition to the reports of Vandervere driving erratically prior to the crash, his breath smelled of alcohol at the scene. After getting a search warrant, authorities got a blood sample which will be tested in the lab and could result in more charges. 

Vandervere has a prior injury by intoxicated use of motor vehicle in 2005 and holds a valid Illinois driver's license, however, his Wisconsin driver's license is revoked. 

Sheriff David Beth says he recently spoke to a member of the Rizzo family. 

"This is a heavy burden on the entire family. He just sounded exhausted. He mentioned to me, the one thing we're trying to do. He doesn't even know the suspect's name. He said, 'I don't want to focus any energy on who caused this.' He goes, 'Our family's main goal right now is to make it through burying the three family members by the end of the week,'" Sheriff Beth said. 

The Wisconsin State Patrol is helping with the crash reconstruction. The investigation is ongoing and continuing. The Kenosha Sheriff's Department is asking anyone who may have witnessed the suspect driving recklessly before the crash to call the KSD Detective Bureau at 262-605-5102.

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Posted: 8:55 p.m. April 5, 2019

KENOSHA COUNTY, Wis. (CBS 58) -- One person is dead after a two-vehicle crash in the Village of Bristol.

It happened in the 21600 block of Highway 50 around 6:45 p.m. on Friday.

Authorities were originally called to the scene for a report of a reckless driver complaint that ended in a crash.

The involved vehicles included a white GMC pick-up truck and a black Jeep sport utility vehicle. Both vehicles were reported to be traveling east on Highway 50.

According to police, the sole occupant of the white GMC pick-up truck was taken to a local hospital. There is currently no word on their condition. 

The black Jeep SUV had four occupants, all of whom needed extrication. One occupant of the SUV was pronounced dead at the scene. The other remaining victims were taken to local area hospitals. There is currently no word on their conditions. 

The cause of the crash remains under investigation at this time.

Alcohol appears to be a contributing factor.

Stay with CBS 58 News for more information on this developing story. 


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