By Brandi Makuski
An Amherst man has been charged with OWI following a March 2 hit and run.
Andrew Stanecki, 35, allegedly struck a motorist from behind in an eastbound lane of Hwy. 10 in front of Hilltop Pub and Grill in Stevens Point. The rear-end crash occurred at 4:49 PM, after which Stanecki is accused of fleeing the scene in his vehicle.
Within 11 minutes of the accident, Stanecki was in custody.
Sgt. Mike Rottier with the Stevens Point Police Dept. said an officer was at the scene quickly.
“The crash forced the car in front of him to hit the next car in front of it,” Rottier said. “It resulted in some minor injuries, and Mr. Stanecki’s vehicle was found by the sheriff’s office.”
According to Chief Deputy Dan Kontos, a passerby at the scene of the accident called 911 then followed Stanecki south on County Rd. R, then left on Porter Rd., where the vehicle reportedly burst into flames.
“[Stanecki] pulled over, got out, tried to extinguish the fire using snow from the ditch, but he was unable to put the fire out and left on foot,” Kontos said. “One of our deputies located him about 1,000 feet east of the van and took him into custody.”
Fire departments from Stockton and Plover also responded to the scene to extinguish the fire. There were no injuries as a result of the blaze.
Kontos said Stanecki was not drunk, but “the indication would be he was on something other than alcohol.”
Stanecki also faces charged of disorderly conduct and contact after a domestic abuse arrest, stemming from a separate incident.
He returns to court March 13.