Ten-year-old boy dies after horse-drawn wagon crash
Charges for homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle requested
By Adam Hocking
MARSHFIELD — Melvin C. Kempf, a 10-year-old Amish boy, who along with his father was thrown from a horse-drawn wagon when struck from behind by a pickup truck on Friday, Nov. 20, died from his injuries Tuesday night around 10 p.m. at Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Marshfield. The crash occurred in the town of Hansen on County Highway HH.
Kempf spent several days in critical condition and was in a coma prior to his death, said Wood County Sheriff’s Department Captain Shawn Becker.
“He was taken off life support and then passed away shortly thereafter,” Becker said. He added that “trauma caused from the crash” was the cause of death.
Melvin’s father, Christian C. Kempf, was also in the wagon, and he died at Saint Joseph’s Hospital on Saturday, Nov. 21. The Kempf family is from Vesper, and there is an online account set up to provide financial support to them at gofundme.com/wvbmef5g.
The driver of the pickup was 31-year-old Seth M. Nelson of Necedah. Becker said that the Wood County Sheriff’s Department has sent requests for two charges of homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle to the Wood County District Attorney’s office.
While alcohol was initially believed to be a factor in the crash, according to a release from the Wood County Sherriff’s department, Becker said the department was still awaiting lab results to determine Nelson’s blood alcohol level. Becker said that he expected to get the lab results “some time next week” in an interview on Thursday.
Becker said the Wood County Sheriff’s Department is collaborating with the Wisconsin State Patrol in doing a reconstruction of the incident to determine what speed Nelson’s pickup was traveling at and what visibility conditions may have been.
“We look at everything from driver factors, vehicle factors, roadway factors,” Becker said. He thought that investigation could take about a month to complete.