City sues drunk driver in police car crash

The city claims Stephany Daubenspeck’s negligence caused more than $19,000 for damage to a Sun Prairie Police Department 2017 Ford Explorer Police Interceptor. This photo shows some of the vehicle’s damage.

A Sun Prairie drunk driver who caused a crash into a Sun Prairie police squad car is being sued by the City of Sun Prairie.

The city claims Stephany Daubenspeck’s negligence caused more than $19,000 for damage to the vehicle.

A Sun Prairie officer was responding to a rollover crash on US Highway 151 just north of Reiner Road around 10:10 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020 when Daubenspeck’s SUV hit a vehicle that had slowed down for the crash. The impact caused that vehicle to hit the unoccupied 2017 Ford Explorer Police Interceptor parked on the left shoulder of the highway.

The police officer was uninjured. Daubenspeck, and the driver of the car she hit, were both injured in the crash and transported to the hospital, according to the Dane County Sheriff’s report.

Daubenspeck was charged with OWI-first offense with a blood alcohol level greater than .15.

She pleaded no contest to the charge and was found guilty in April 2021. The court revoked Daubenspeck’s driver’s license for seven months and ordered her to take part in an alcohol assessment and safety plan.

The city filed a lawsuit against Daubenspeck on May 20 in Dane County Circuit Court, stating that Daubenspeck was negligent in the crash that caused $19,168 damage to the Sun Prairie police vehicle.

The lawsuit did not specify what costs and disbursements that the city is seeking against Daubenspeck.

According to the law enforcement report, the Sun Prairie officer acted appropriately in the incident. The officer parked the squad vehicle on the left shoulder of the highway and activated the emergency red and blue lights before he crossed the concrete barrier to assist the injured motorist in the northbound lane of US Highway 151.

The report found that the officer made a judgment call that he needed to get to the victim of the rollover crash faster than it would have taken to turn around at the Reiner Road exit and get on northbound 151 to the crash scene.

Details of the crash were obtained by the Sun Prairie Star through a public records request to the city.

Recommended for you