PEWAUKEE -- A decision to get behind the wheel leaves a Pewaukee father in handcuffs facing charges in the death of his 3-year-old son. 25-year-old Nicholas Dischler admitted to drunkenly falling asleep at the wheel Sunday morning before crashing into a tree.
Dischler told law enforcement he had between ten and 12 beers the night before the wreck. His fiancé who was also in the car admitted their 3-year-old son was not in his car seat at the time.
Dischler made his first court appearance Wednesday afternoon with bandages over wounds from a car crash he caused Sunday morning that took the life of his 3-year-old son.
“The tragedy is the loss of life, without a doubt.,” said judge Sara Scullen.
According to court records, Dischler was on a family camping trip to celebrate his son’s birthday.
“The defendant stated that he drank 10 beers sometime between before sunset on Saturday and 1:00 or 2:00 a.m. on Sunday," read the criminal complaint.
Dischler told authorities he was driving home before 6:00 a.m. when he fell asleep at the wheel and woke up after he crashed head-on into a tree at Prospect Ave and Rocky Point Rd. .
Dischler’s fiancé said their son was not in a car seat. First responders found him lying in the back seat without a pulse. Dischler was arrested on scene for operating while intoxicated.
“We believe that the flight risk is due to the prison exposure in this case,” said prosecutor Susan Opper.
The judge sided with the state and set his bail at $50,000.
“The defendant poses an extreme danger," said Scullen. "He’s facing substantial potential penalties."
Dischler’s attorney asked if the judge would allow him to attend his son’s funeral on Monday if he isn’t able to come up with that amount.
“The court is denying the request,” said Scullen.
The decision was followed by a loud outburst from the crowd made up of several of Dischler’s family members.
“I think it’s tragic," said defense attorney Christopher Ehrfurth. "I think it’s a horrible, horrible situation."
Ehrfurth said he plans to appeal that decision. He’s due back in court next week.
Over the past three days we’ve been trying to get answers about whether life-saving efforts were delayed for the 3-year old boy. The Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department confirms Pewaukee Fire Department first responders thought the toddler was sleeping after the wreck.
Pewaukee Mayor Steve Bierce sent TODAY'S TMJ4 a statement Wednesday afternoon.
The City of Pewaukee would like to express its sincere condolences to
the victims, family and friends of the victims involved in the automobile
accident on Sunday July 15th.
Due to the privacy interests of those who were treated at the scene and
the fact that there is an ongoing investigation by law enforcement, the
Pewaukee Fire Department is unable to provide any details involving this
incident. The City can say that all relevant factors and information are
under review to ensure that applicable policies and procedures were