A domestic quarrel in a moving vehicle that allegedly caused it to crash near Rice Lake Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021, has resulted in a felony charge of first-degree reckless endangerment against a 27-year-old man, according to Barron County Circuit Court documents.
A complaint filed Feb. 19 identified the defendant as Grant Steven Blihovde, of Barron.
The complaint said a city police officer responded late Thursday afternoon to a domestic incident on County Hwy. SS, near the Lake 7 Theater. He arrived to find a woman and a 10-month-old child in a car that had gone into the ditch.
After he radioed for an ambulance, the officer talked to the woman, who told him she had caught the defendant cheating on her and had argued with him while they drove south through Rice Lake.
The argument continued as she drove the vehicle south, and, at one point, the defendant allegedly said he didn’t “care about his life (the woman’s) life or the life of the child.” He began striking the woman in the head, then allegedly grabbed the steering wheel and the woman lost control. She told the officer she over-corrected and the car crashed at a speed of about 60 mph.
The original 911 call indicated the defendant was walking north on Hwy. SS after the crash, but the officer didn’t see anyone on foot as he got to the accident scene. A second officer did find a man, later identified as the defendant, walking nearby. He was detained by the two responding officers.
The defendant allegedly said the woman was hitting him before the accident. He denied grabbing the steering wheel. The arresting officer said the defendant gave off an alcohol odor and allegedly admitted drinking earlier that day.
At the time of the incident, the defendant was out on bond in connection with unrelated charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated and disorderly conduct. Conditions of bond required him not to drink.
If convicted on both charges, the defendant could face up to 13 years and three months behind bars and/or fines of up to $35,000, court records said.