EC man charged in connection with fatal hit-and-run crash in Altoona




  • In US
  • 2022-07-07 01:51:00Z
  • By Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wis.

Jul. 6-EAU CLAIRE - A $100,000 cash bail has been set for the Eau Claire man who authorities say was involved in Sunday's fatal hit-and-run crash on U.S. 12 in Altoona.

Brendan F. Barkovich, 35, 2211 Vine Court West, was charged Wednesday in Eau Claire County Court with a felony count of hit and run resulting in death and a misdemeanor count of possession of cocaine.

As conditions of his bail, Judge Sarah Harless ordered Barkovich to maintain absolute sobriety and have no contact with anyone involved in illegal drug activities.

Barkovich returns to court Aug. 9 for a preliminary hearing.

Authorities said the victim in the hit-and-run crash was Jonathan Peacock, 29, of Altoona.

According to the criminal complaint and Altoona police:

Authorities were sent early Sunday to the 2300 block of U.S. 12, between McCann Drive and 10th Street West, on a report of a deceased male who was laying on the grass next to the highway. They also found vehicle debris nearby.

The man was later identified as Peacock.

The State Patrol was called to the scene to perform a crash reconstruction.

A parts number found on some of the vehicle debris indicated that the striking vehicle may have been a 2016 to 2019 Ford Explorer. Area authorities were alerted to help locate such a vehicle with passenger side damage.

Peacock's body was taken to the Ramsey County (Minn.) medical examiner's officer for an autopsy. The autopsy showed Peacock had a broken right leg, pelvic fractures and traumatic spinal and brain injuries.

The pathologist said the injuries could have been caused by a vehicle striking Peacock. The pathologist said there would be heavy damage to the involved vehicle, including the windshield.

The pathologist said the striking vehicle would have been traveling much faster than the posted 45 mph speed limit.

Peacock's father told authorities Peacock had left their residence on U.S. 12 on foot between 2:30 and 3 a.m. on Sunday.

At 11:45 a.m. Sunday, Barkovich and his mother came to the Altoona Police Department to report a crash from earlier that morning.

Barkovich said he was driving on U.S. 12 when he turned to look at fireworks that were going off to his left. He then heard a "big thump." He took the vehicle home and noticed that it was "beat up."

Barkovich said he wanted to report it and then call it in to his insurance company. He said he was driving a 2017 Ford Explorer and had no idea what he hit. He said he just kept going after he felt the thump because he thought he hit a deer and just wanted to get home.

A police officer told Barkovich he hit a person, who was now deceased.

Authorities went to Barkovich's Eau Claire residence and found the Ford Explorer. It had heavy passenger side damage. The windshield was also damaged on the passenger side. The hood was dented and a headlight was broken. The fender around the front passenger side wheel was separated over the top of the wheel and sticking out.

The damaged area of the vehicle was swabbed for DNA.

Barkovich was then arrested. Police found a small amount of cocaine among his possessions.

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