A Hawkins man was arrested on July 29 in Rusk County after he fled the scene after a child fell out of his truck while he was driving.
Patrick M. Hoffman, 33, was arrested by a Wisconsin State trooper for hit and run causing injury, second degree recklessly endangering safety and obstruction.
According to the probable cause statement, at noon on July 29 a Wisconsin State trooper was dispatched to the intersection of U.S. 8 and Jefferson Street in the village of Hawkins for a hit and run. The child was transported for medical treatment.
One witness identified Hoffman as the driver who was involved and had been traveling at 30 mph when the incident happened.
Two witnesses told the trooper that a child had been sitting on top of two mattresses and was holding a refrigerator when the mattresses caught air underneath them and flipped the mattresses, the child and the refrigerator out of the truck and onto the highway.
The witnesses saw Hoffman stop and get out of the truck to yell at the child for not holding the mattresses down and then fled the scene, according to the probable cause statement.
The trooper was provided a phone number for Hoffman who did not answer his phone. Hoffman allegedly contacted the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office more than two hours later and agreed to meet the trooper at his Hawkins home.
Hoffman provided the trooper with a written statement alleging his nephew was helping move furniture when he “flew out and got scraped up and a cut.” Hoffman told the trooper he picked up his belongings from the road and brought them back to his house before returning to the scene on a bicycle.
Hoffman returned to the scene on a bicycle before first responders arrived and did not identify himself. He then left the scene without calling to report the accident or checking on the child. Hoffman also admitted that letting the child ride in the bed of the truck was reckless and he should not have let him do it.
Hoffman refused to say where the truck was currently at or who it belonged to, only that he was borrowing it from a friend and didn’t want them to get in trouble, according to the probable cause statement.
He told the trooper he didn’t stay at the scene because bystanders were already caring for the child so he allegedly didn’t need to call for help or stay.
In the accident the child sustained a laceration to the head, road rash and abrasions and an ankle injury.
Hoffman is pending formal charges in Rusk County Circuit Court.Hawkins man flees