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Husband recalls crash that took his wife's life; driver had bench warrants

Posted at 6:00 PM, Aug 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-27 11:18:35-04

OAK CREEK — The husband of a motorcyclist who was killed after a crash on Interstate 94 said they tried to avoid the driver who hit her.

On Friday afternoon, an SUV crashed into a motorcyclist on I-94 near Drexel Avenue. The driver of the SUV ran away, sparking an hours-long manhuntuntil he was arrested about 8 p.m. The motorcyclist was hospitalized but died the next day.

The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office identified the victim as Sarah McGraw.

McGraw's husband, Pat, said they were riding their motorcycles to Door County with two relatives before the crash. The group was riding on four separate motorcycles. Pat was last in line, riding behind Sarah. Pat said they noticed the SUV a few miles before the crash.

"He was driving aggressively. We did everything we could to put distance between him and us," said Pat.

But then traffic bunched up on I-94.

"I no sooner got beside my wife on the white line, and I heard the screech, crash. It was like he braked as he hit her," said Pat.

Sarah was on the ground, bleeding. Pat said two strangers, an off-duty Chicago Police officer and a nurse, jumped in to help them.

"Everything went to a standstill. We were working on my wife. Finally, Dawn opened the door to say, 'What the hell' and nobody was in the truck."

Sarah was a wife, mother and grandmother. She worked in hospice and assisted living. Pat said she was passionate about helping people. The two were married for 32 years and had plans for all kinds of trips.

Pat described Sarah as vibrant and caring. She loved wine, art and experiencing the world.

"You're numb. I never envisioned that it would be her before me. It just didn’t enter my mind, not much," said Pat.

"He was driving aggressively. We did everything we could to put distance between him and us." — Pat McGraw, whose wife was killed in a crash Friday on Interstate 94

The driver was placed into custody at the Milwaukee County Jail. TODAY'S TMJ4 has not named him because charges are pending. However, the jail's website showed his bail was set at $10,000.

Court records showed the driver has bench warrants from Milwaukee County and Marathon County.

The warrant in Milwaukee County was for operating while revoked due to an OWI-related offense. The warrant in Marathon County was tied to charges of operating while revoked due to an alcohol or controlled substance-related offense and second-offense OWI.

McGraw's family plans to hold a celebration of life for Sarah at the Kenosha Moose Lodge at noon Saturday.