Wis. man pleads guilty in fatal crash

CREATED Oct. 31, 2013

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (AP) -- An Eau Claire man likely will spend at least 12 years in prison after pleading guilty in a seven-vehicle chain-reaction crash that killed a passenger in his van last year.
   
Thirty-six-year-old Travis Hazelton pleaded guilty Wednesday to five felony charges, including one count of homicide by drunken driving.
   
As part of a plea deal, the prosecutor and defense attorney are jointly recommending Hazelton be sentenced to 12 years in prison.
   
Sentencing is set for Jan. 6. The Leader-Telegram reports the judge is not bound by the plea agreement and could sentence Hazelton to up to 40 years in prison.
   
Twenty-six-year-old Jesse Schreiner of Eau Claire died after he hit the passenger side dashboard of Hazelton's van in the July 2012 crash.
   
Hazelton and three other people were hurt.