MILWAUKEE, WI — A young woman had her neck broken in four places after her vehicle was T-boned by a police officer who blew through a stop sign. Even though she was completely sober, the police charged with drunk driving and tried to shift the blame onto her instead of the party at fault. When evidence surfaced that showed her innocence, it was hidden and ignored. The deputy responsible was never punished.
Tanya Helena Weyker, 25, had never been accused of a crime, nor had she even so much as had a speeding ticket. Her life changed forever the night of February 20, 2013, when her Toyota Camry was slammed by a Milwaukee County Sheriff’s deputy and was sent spinning into a tree.
“I was just driving straight and he hit me,” remembered Weykerin an interview with WITI. “It was just a miracle I wasn’t paralyzed.”
Deputy Joseph Quiles had broadsided her, mangling the vehicle and causing her life-threatening injuries. The crash was so violent that it broke her neck in four places. Her passenger suffered a ruptured spleen.
Ms. Weyker was in critical condition, yet the responding deputies did not miss the opportunity to manufacture reasons to ruin her life and lock her in jail. Quiles’s colleagues used Weyker’s “glassy” eyes as evidence of drunk driving, along with the claim of a “light odor” of alcohol.
“I explained to him my eyes were red and glassy because I was crying,” Ms. Weyker explained. “They made me into this criminal.”
On the police report filed by Deputy Scott Griffin, the alleged “victim” was recorded as fellow deputy Joseph Quiles. The report claimed that Weyker made conflicting statements and did its best to make her look like a criminal.
Charges and Injuries
To go with her terrible injuries, Ms. Weyker was slammed with 5 crimes:
- Unreasonable and Imprudent Speed
- Operating While Intoxicated
- Operating with PAC >= 0.08 < 0.10
- Causing Injury While Operating While Intoxicated
- Causing Injury While Operating with PAC alcohol
Weyker miraculously survived the ordeal, but she had a tough recovery ahead of her. A month after the crash, Weyker was in desperate shape. She had drifted down to an incredibly low body weight of 76 pounds on her 5’6″ frame. She was so weak that doctors said she required a feeding tube.
Her condition was complicated by the fact that she was a cancer survivor since the age of 3 years old. As a child, doctors gave her so many doses of radiation that her spine began to curve, so they inserted metal rods into her back to keep it straight. She had been living with these rods for many years at the time of the crash.
Unable to work, crippled, and drowning in medical bills approaching $1 million — Ms. Weyker also had to pay for legal services to defend herself from the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department.
What’s worse, the case wasn’t being dropped, even though the evidence was clearly on her side. The night of the crash, Weyker was in no condition to give a field sobriety test, but her blood was drawn during hospitalization. The test results came back proving that she had absolutely no alcohol in her system.
It is unlikely that such treatment would have occurred to the victim of any other crash that did not involve a police officer. With no tangible evidence for the charges, the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s deputy pushed the blame onto his victim to “protect himself and his department,” according to Ms. Weyker.
Deputy Quiles himself was found to have changed his story. In his official police report, he claimed to have made a complete stop at the stop sign. Yet a surveillance video captured from the nearby airport showed that Quiles rolled right through it, striking Weyker’s vehicle.
The department obtained the surveillance video only days after the crash — but it was kept hidden from Ms. Weyker and her attorney. Instead of revealing the evidence and dropping the manufactured charges against her, the department sent her threatening letters demanding money to pay for the accident.
Fortunately, the district attorney declined to pursue the charges against Ms. Weyker. The Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office seems to have an unaddressed integrity problem.
In a later internal investigation, Deputy Quiles was recorded admitting his own fault in the crash. Despite this admission — contradicting his original report — he is still listed as an active deputy with the department, WITI News discovered. He was never fired or officially disciplined for the fraudulent report that caused Ms. Weyker so much agony.