MILWAUKEE (WITI) — It was a brutal collision that left a young woman with severe injuries – but what happened after a sheriff’s deputy slammed into her car compounded the damage.
Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Deputy Joseph Quiles now admits that he rolled through a stop sign just before t-boning 25-year-old Tanya Weyker’s car — and then arresting her on DWI charges, despite the fact that she was sober.
In February of last year, Quiles was working the night shift and pulled into an intersection near General Mitchell International Airport, hitting Weyker’s car from the side and sending it careening into a tree.
Weyker, who already had metal rods supporting her spine after childhood radiation treatments for cancer diagnosed at age 3, broke her neck in four places FOX6 reported.
“It was a miracle I wasn’t paralyzed,” she said later.
Even though she wasn’t at fault in the accident, the police and sheriff’s deputies at the scene began questioning her, asking why her eyes looked glassy and red.
She admitted that she had a “few sips from a friend’s drink” earlier in the night, but explained to the officer that “my eyes were red and glassy because I was crying.”
She was so badly injured she was unable to take a Breathalyzer or field sobriety test. She did, however, take a blood test that, months later, would prove her sobriety.
Police arrested Weyker that night for DWI and stationed an officer outside her hospital room while she lay in traction.
Little did Weyker know, surveillance video from the airport near the scene had recorded the entire incident. It was proof that Quile’s claims of Weyker’s headlights being off and him coming to a complete stop were false.
The Sheriff’s Office knew about the video within days of the crash, FOX6 reported, but Weyker wouldn’t hear that her case was being reopened for five more months.
“No one called me,” she said. “I don’t think it is fair at all.”
After Quiles, confronted with the video evidence, changed his story and admitted fault, all charges were dropped.
Weyker is still waiting to find out whether or not the state, which has a cap on payouts of $250,000, will cover her mounting medical bills – which, her lawyer says, could reach as high as $1 million.