A 44-year-old laborer from Mosinee will serve six months in jail for driving without a license and killing a mother of four bicycling along a highway in May of 2012, under a sentence issued Monday by Marathon County Circuit Judge LaMont Jacobson.
The judge also ordered Tracy Kruzicki to serve three years probation and perform 120 hours of community service. The time behind bars could be extended beyond the six months if Kruzicki fails to follow the rules of his probation.
Kruzicki faced a maximum prison term of six years in prison, after pleading guilty in August to one count of operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license and causing a death. His previous driving offenses included driving with a revoked license in February and March of 2010, and driving without insurance in August 2011. His lack of a license on the day of the crash led to the felony charge.
Driving along Highway KK south of Wausau about 11: 30 a.m. on May 23, 2012, Kruzicki drifted nearly two feet onto the paved shoulder of the road and crashed into Tammy Gass from behind. According to the investigative reports, Gass was wearing a hot pink and black cycling jersey, a white helmet and black shorts; and was riding nearly one foot to the right of the solid white line designating the bike lane.
The 44-year-old was a cross-country skier, and avid cyclist and one of seven siblings. Her first husband, Greg Bednorski, died in crash while bicycling on the same stretch of highway in 2008. Working through her grief, she reconnected with a high school friend, Tim Gass, who shared her struggle with the loss of a spouse. His first wife died in horse riding accident.
Tim and Tammy married in January 2012 and were set to travel on a honeymoon to Costa Rica a week after she was killed. Their combined families included four children.
Cyclists and friends wrote letters to Jacobson demanding that he impose a sentence that would hold Kruzicki accountable for killing an innocent woman and taxpayer enjoying a bike ride on a rural highway. The sentence issued Monday failed to satisfy them.
“Pretty pathetic reflection of the values of our society in my opinion, with its roots at the jail-able time for the offense in this case,” Dave Mikalofsky, a family friend, said after the sentencing hearing.