19-year-old sentenced to 5 years in prison for crash that killed younger brother

Image of Benske from 2023 hearing

MEQUON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A teen was sentenced to 5 years in prison after an OWI crash that killed his younger brother. The sentencing took place on Thursday, April 11. 

19-year-old John Benske was charged with a homicide by intoxicated use of vehicle and OWI-1st, with an enhancer for having a passenger younger than 16 in the car at the time. 

According to a criminal complaint, a responding officer said as he arrived at the crash scene, he saw a person, later identified as Benske, running northbound along the road.

The officer said Benske told him that his brother needed help. The officer had Benske sit in the back of his squad car, where he reportedly noted smelling an "overwhelming odor of intoxicants" on Benske.

According to the officer, Benske "made a statement that his little brother had been drinking and that they had switched who was driving before the crash." 

A passenger, later identified as a 15-year-old Mequon boy, was still seat belted in the car but was not showing any signs of life. 

Police gave Benske a breathalyzer test, and reported the result was 0.21, which is more than twice the legal limit. 

Court documents show Benske pled guilty in February. 

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