REPORT: Woman Involved in Fatal Wrong-Way Crash Sentenced to 20-Years in Prison
July 3, 2024

Lake Country Tribune

Melissa Bright, 48, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for causing the 2023 death of Dousman resident Brooklyn Gridley, 19, back in 2023.

Bright’s sentence was issued in Waukesha County Circuit Court last week after the court decided she was guilty of the crime of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle.

According to the Oconomowoc Enterprise, “She was given 10 years of initial confinement and 10 years of extended supervision.” Additionally, she must also follow through with “any treatment or counseling, have absolute sobriety” with the added caveat that she may not “obtain or apply for a driver’s license”

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A press release issued by Chenequa Police at the time detailed the night which Gridley’s life can to an end:

On Saturday, February 18th, 2023, at 2:34pm the Village of Chenequa Police Department responded to a motor vehicle crash on E/B STH 16 just west of STH 83. The investigation has proven that one of the vehicles involved entered the E/B lanes of STH 16 from STH 83 gomgW/B, the wrong way, in the E/B laries of traffic. This vehicle then collided with another vehicle, head-on, in the E/B lmies of traffic.

The driver of the wrong way vehicle is now being identified as 47-year-old Melissa Bright of Sullivan, WI.

Criminal charges that include one count of Homicide by Intoxicated use of a Vehicle mid seven counts of

First Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety have been forwarded to the Waukesha County District Attorney’s office for their review and charging decision.

Bright previously pleaded guilty to homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle and first-degree recklessly endangering safety, resulting in the dismissal of other charges in a plea agreement. Gridley, who was rescued from her car and flown to Aurora Hospital in Summit, died on Feb. 20.

A can of margarita was found in Bright’s car, and responders noted the smell of alcohol and marijuana on her breath, consistent with intoxication. Bright, who suffered multiple fractures, had blood alcohol levels of 0.204 and 0.182, more than twice the legal limit.

Authorities also detected evidence of “the use of marijuana, benzodiazepines and barbiturates”.

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