March trial scheduled for woman accused in Colfax hit-and-run accident

By LeAnn R. Ralph

MENOMONIE  —  A March jury trial has been scheduled in Dunn County for a 37-year-old Colfax woman accused in the hit-and-run accident involving the owner of Mom’s Restaurant and Pub, Linda Salazar.

Jami A. Golden pleaded not guilty to two felony counts, hit and run involving great bodily harm and reckless driving causing great bodily harm, in Dunn County Circuit Court January 30.

Salazar was walking to the restaurant around 5:30 a.m. December 9, 2016 when she was struck by a vehicle while crossing Main Street at Fifth Avenue in Colfax.

Salazar suffered ten broken ribs, a concussion, a broken arm, a broken leg, a broken ankle, a broken pelvis and multiple internal injuries. She was hospitalized in critical care at Mayo Eau Claire for nearly three weeks and has been at Mayo Bloomer since then to continue her recovery.

Golden also was issued traffic citations for operating a vehicle without insurance; failure to notify police of an accident; and obstructed driver’s vision front view (frost on the windshield). 

According to the criminal complaint filed in Dunn County December 27, Golden will be charged as a “repeater” on both felonies because she was convicted in September of 2014 in Dunn County on one felony count of delivering methamphetamine.

The Dunn County Communications Center received a 911 call at 5:36 a.m. December 9 from Dale Schaub, who reported that a small compact vehicle had struck a pedestrian at the intersection of Main Street and Fifth Avenue in Colfax and had fled the scene, according to the criminal complaint.

Schaub said at first he thought it was a mannequin that had been struck, but as he got closer, he saw that what had been struck was a person. 

Schaub called 911 to report the crash and said he had seen the car stop, but when he looked up, the car was gone.

While deputies were still investigating the accident, Golden returned to the scene 20 or 30 minutes later and said she thought she had struck something while driving to work on her way through Colfax. 

According to court records, Golden’s address is on High Street in Colfax.

Golden told deputies she had stopped and thought she might have hit a deer or another animal, but because she was running late for work, she kept going, according to the complaint.

Deputies asked  Golden what had kept her from identifying what she had struck, and Golden said her car windows were fogged up, although there was a spot she could see through. Golden told deputies she had not “seen a person walking around like that,” according to the complaint. 

The deputies noticed that Golden’s vehicle had damage on the front driver’s side near the front tire, although Golden said the damage was the result of her brother putting the car into the ditch.

Damage to the plastic bumper cover was new damage, Golden told the deputies.

Deputies also observed that the driver side mirror was broken and a piece of Salazar’s jacket was stuck between the mirror and the body of the vehicle, according to the complaint.

A final pre-trial hearing for Golden is scheduled in Dunn County Circuit Court March 10.