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Shorewood man battling multiple sclerosis faces new hurdle because of a reckless driver

Despite multiple sclerosis limiting John Haupt's mobility, it never limited his drive to be active. However, a crash has since changed that.
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Posted at 5:09 PM, Jan 12, 2023

MILWAUKEE, Wis. — A Shorewood man already battling multiple sclerosis (MS) faces a long recovery after being hit by a reckless driver.

Shorewood police were trying to pull over a teenage driver during a traffic stop when instead the driver took off.

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John Haupt and the handcycle bike he uses to raise money for a cure for MS.

John Haupt loves being out on his handcycle raising money for a cure for MS. The Shorewood man has battled the disease for decades. Despite MS limiting his mobility, it never limited his drive to be active. However, a crash has changed that.

“I just picked up my dinner at Qdoba and I was circling back to come back home. We are talking six blocks, seven blocks from here,” said Haupt.

He was pulling out onto Oakland Avenue in Milwaukee when Shorewood police say a vehicle hit him.

“I see in the road the reflection of headlights coming down the street and the last thought I had was, ‘Oh they are coming really fast,’” said Haupt.

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John Haupt on his handcycle.

The crash report shows Shorewood police tried to pull over an 18-year-old driver when he took off going 60 to 70 miles an hour and running a red light before crashing into Haupt’s van.

Haupt hit his head and broke his leg above the knee.

It's the leg Haupt relies on to stand, get in and out of his van and take steps out of his wheelchair. Between his broken leg and now totaled van, it is more of a challenge for Haupt to get around.

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John Haupt

Haupt is basically confined to where he can wheel himself or have others help him.

“I can’t really do much of anything,” said Haupt. “I’m pretty much dependent, as I said, take me from place to place.”

Besides the injuries Haupt is facing, there were two passengers in the speeding car who were also hurt, one with minor injuries and one with serious injuries.

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The leg John Haupt broke in a the crash.

“I’m sure when he hit the accelerator going 60 down Oakland Avenue, I’m sure he thought nothing of it. But there are people including his friends in the car who are going to pay a long time for that simple lapse in judgment,” said Haupt.

The driver of the vehicle is now facing multiple charges, including second-degree recklessly endangering safety, carrying a concealed weapon, and fleeing to elude.

Haupt says insurance will help replace his van but he has to find a specific type that fits his wheelchair and hand cycle and that he can get into and out of.

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