MADISON — Charges were filed last week in connection with the car crash death of a UW–Platteville graduate in May 2012.
Katie Binning, 22, Abbotsford, was a student teacher at Wisconsin Heights High School in Black Earth when she was killed in a crash in front of the school May 30, 2012.
Binning was rear-ended by a tractor–trailer driven by Gary Lammert, 50, Anaconda, Mont., while Binning was turning from U.S. 14 into the high school around 7:30 a.m. The semi pushed Binning’s car into the path of a car driven by Richard Butler, 65, Wonewoc. Butler was injured in the crash; Lammert and his passenger were uninjured.
Lammert was charged May 30 with homicide by negligent operation of a motor vehicle. He was released on a $500 signature bond Thursday. A status conference before Dane County Circuit Judge David Flanagan is scheduled for Aug. 18 at 1:30 p.m.
Lammert faces a maximum penalty of up to 10 years in prison and $25,000 fine if convicted.
According to the Wisconsin State Journal in Madison, Lammert told investigators he didn’t see Binning’s car until just before impact, and he didn’t see the flashing-yellow school zone speed limit sign.
The State Journal quoted a Wisconsin State Patrol inspector as saying that Lammert’s log book had been falsified, with no listing of time he spent unloading cargo.
According to WISC-TV in Madison, Lammert had three previous crashes driving trucks in Colorado, in August 2004, November 2004 and January 2010. Lammert received serious injuries in the November 2004 crash on Loveland Pass in Colorado, and 2,000 gallons of diesel fuel spilled.
According to the Colorado State Patrol, the November 2004 and 2010 crashes were blamed on excessive speed.
In an interview with the Wisconsin Heights Vanguard Voice in 2012, Binning said, “If I can’t change things, I won’t be one of those yelling in the crowd; I’ll change it with my students. If my students value art then they will grow up valuing art, and that will change it for the future. In that way I will have made change for the better.”
Binning had been a professionally commissioned artist since high school. “If I am not creating stuff I go nuts, so why not pursue that as a career?” she said.
Binning ran cross country at UW–Platteville and received four consecutive Gabe Miller Star Athlete Awards, for having the team’s best grade point average. She also won two Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference All-Sportsmanship awards.
Binning was the fifth person to die in crashes near Wisconsin Heights since 2002. A construction project is under way to add turn lanes and consolidate the two entrances into the high school and middle school.