SHEBOYGAN – A 33-year-old Sheboygan man, suspected of driving a car into Pigeon River before departing while the passenger stayed at the scene, was charged recently in Sheboygan County Court with several felonies and misdemeanors in connection with the March 25 incident.
Prosecutors charged Andrew F. Christian with felonies for hit and run causing great bodily harm, and operating while intoxicated causing injury (second and subsequent offense), both felonies. Christian is also facing misdemeanors for operating a motor vehicle while revoked causing great bodily harm to another, and for obstructing an officer.
According to a criminal complaint, a county sheriff’s deputy dispatched to a report of a car in the river found Christian in another vehicle along Rangeline Road. Christian had a large cut to the side of his head — which officials later said was consistent with evidence that the driver of the car found in the river would have struck his head against the windshield.
Christian told a deputy he’d been out for a walk and had fallen off a railroad trestle, though the deputy noted most of his pants were wet — “as if he had been walking in a river,” according to the criminal complaint.
The responding deputy also noted Christian’s words were slurred and that he had a hard time balancing. Christian later told deputies he’d been at a bar that evening, and that he had been walking along railroad tracks between Sheboygan and Haven.
At the scene of the crash, a deputy reported finding a 22-year-old man slumped over by the car, which was found in about 2 to 4 feet of water. The official noted swelling and “deformities” in the man’s right arm and on his legs. The report also notes his injuries, most seriously to his right side but none with significant bleeding, would have been consistent with him sitting in the passenger seat.
A deputy’s investigation indicated the car had appeared to leave the road “quite a distance” from where it was found in the river, and a criminal complaint notes the vehicle had apparently gone airborne before landing in the water: Nearby trees were sheared off, apparently by the car, about 12 to 15 feet above the ground.
The car had significant damage to its passenger side. The driver’s side was more intact, though a deputy’s report noted “a large amount of blood on the driver’s side,” including on the windshield, raising suspicions the driver had struck his head on the windshield.
At the hospital, Christian initially declined to offer a blood sample because, according to the criminal complaint, he said he hadn’t been driving, though he subsequently said “sure” to a deputy’s questioning and a medical technician drew his blood for testing. Results of the blood test were still pending by the time prosecutors filed charges.
The complaint notes Christian had previously been convicted twice, most recently in 2017, for operating a vehicle while intoxicated.