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WASHBURN - The woman accused of causing a July car crash that killed her 2–year–old daughter and has left another daughter in a coma is now facing a reckless homicide charge.
Chelsea Cadotte, 23, was in Bayfield Co. Court for her first appearance Tuesday.
According to the criminal complaint, Cadotte was heading south-bound on Highway 13 north of Washburn when she was trying to interact to her 2–year–old in the back seat of the car.
The vehicle then veered onto the other side of the road where it rolled into the ditch.
All four passengers, ages 15, 6, 4 and 2 were ejected from the vehicle.
"This has been a long 10–week process, the State Patrol has done an incredibly detailed investigation," Bayfield Co. District Attorney Craig Haukaas said.
The District Attorney said one count of second degree reckless homicide and three counts of first degree reckless injury were the appropriate charges in the case.
The investigation found there were no mechanical problems in Cadotte's vehicle and she had been reminded and trained in the past to keep children buckled up.
"This is a very difficult case because it involves children," Haukaas said. "We have the death of children here that could have been prevented had safety restraints been used."
According to the criminal complaint, all four passengers were ejected; causing lacerated internal organs and broken bones to her 15–year old sister, broken bones to her 6–year–old son, while her 4–year–old daughter remains in a coma.
The District Attorney said it was a sad reminder of a simple but serious task.
"Please buckle your children," Haukaas said.
Bail for Cadotte was set at $25,000.
She was also told not to operate a vehicle with any minors inside or leave the local area.
Cadotte's next court appearance is set for mid–November.