Bartender considers new profession after seeing DUI crash

11:51 PM, Nov 15, 2012   |    comments
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  • Nicole Wagner was just getting home from bartending early Thursday morning when police say a drunk driver crashed into a tree across the road from her home near Mattawan. Photo courtesy: Van Buren County Sheriff's Dept.
  • Travis Radtke is being charged under Michigan's Super Drunk law.
    

MATTAWAN, Mich. (WZZM) - Now that she has actually witnessed a drunk driving crash, a Van Buren County bartender is having second thoughts about her profession.

'It's got me torn up on what to do or not to do," says bartender Nicole Wagner.

Wagner, 28, was just getting home from bartending early Thursday morning when police say a drunk driver crashed into a tree across the road from her home near Mattawan.

"I watched the entire thing unfold," she says. "All I could say was, 'Oh, my God', as I was running across the street," says Wagner.

Now Wagner says she doesn't know if she wants to continue serving drinks for a living.  She says she needs the bartending job to support her three children, but she worries her occupation may add to the number of impaired drivers on the road.

"After seeing a drunk driving accident physically happen, I don't know if I can go back to work and serve another customer," she says.  "But I've got a family to support. It's almost like I'll be damned if I do and damned if I don't."

The driver who crashed in front of Wagner's house on Red Arrow Highway is 32-year-old Travis Radtke of Portage. This is the third time he's charged with Operating While Intoxicated.  Police say this time his blood alcohol level was over .17, so he is accused of driving while "super drunk" under a new state law that took effect last year.

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