Driver reportedly refused alternative transportation

A twice-convicted drunken driver is charged with causing great bodily harm by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle after crashing his car in the Town of Yorkville early March 10 leaving a Waterford woman with life-threatening injuries.

Ryan J. Kamps, 37, of East Troy, appeared in Racine County Circuit Court Monday on felony charges that also included operating while intoxicated causing injury.

A court commissioner set bond at $5,000 cash and order Kamps not to have contact with the victim or consume alcohol while the case is pending. A preliminary hearing is the case is scheduled for March 20.

His passenger, a 36-year-old woman from Waterford, was unconscious when emergency crews arrived, according to a news release from the Racine County Sheriff’s Office. She was initially transported to Ascension Hospital in Racine but was later transferred to Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa where she underwent emergency surgery and was subsequently taken to the intensive care unit.

The full extent of her injuries was not known prior to Monday’s court proceeding, according to the criminal complaint.

The crash occurred on Highway 20 at Highway U just after 12:30 a.m. March 10.

According to the criminal complaint, Kamps and the victim had been seen drinking and appeared intoxicated at the Route 20 tavern in Yorkville earlier in the evening. At least one person attempted to persuade Kamps to find alternative transportation – and even took steps to arrange a ride home – before Kamps refused and the two left the bar in Kamp’s Pontiac Sunfire and headed west on Highway 20, the complaint contends.

According to sheriff’s officials, Kamp’s car swerved into the opposite lane and collided with a Chevrolet Trailblazer driven by a 36-year-old man from Kenosha. That driver escaped injury.

Kamps, who was unconscious in the driver’s seat when rescuers arrived, was taken to Froedtert where he was treated for a collapsed lung and received 12 staples to close a cut on his head, according to the complaint.

His passenger was found on the ground outside the car and was unresponsive, but was reported to be breathing and moaning in pain.

According to court records cited in the complaint, this is Kamp’s third charge for operating while intoxicated. He was convicted in 2007 and again in 2008 of OWI – the latter involving hit and run.

Kamps has also been convicted of burglary, battery, theft and bail jumping, court records show.


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