A Milwaukee man who froze to death while hiding from police after an alleged hit-and-run accident was on parole for a 2010 crash that left a pedestrian dead and another seriously injured.
Mark Henderson, 34, caused a four-car crash December 30 when he allegedly ran a red light around 99th Street and Good Hope Road. Instead of tending to the accident, he ran from the area and hid in some bushes about two blocks away. His girlfriend and a homeowner near 97th and Good Hope found his body the next day. Temperatures reached a high of 13 degrees on December 30 and dipped to -4 overnight. Henderson died of exposure.
The crash happened two weeks after a popular 71-year-old crossing guard died from injuries suffered in a November 10 hit-and-run.
It is speculated that Henderson ran from the scene because he was on parole for the 2010 crash. In that incident, his license was suspended when he was speeding on North 35th Street on May 8 of that year. That’s when he hit two pedestrians crossing a street near Capitol Drive. One of the pedestrians, a 29-year-old woman, was killed. The other suffered a broken leg and broken pelvis.
Henderson also ran from the 2010 accident. He was caught a few days later after the 1984 Chevy Caprice he was driving in another traffic incident was impounded. The tan car fit the description of the suspect vehicle and showed damage consistent with the accident. The deceased victim’s DNA was also found on a piece of molding.
Henderson was sentenced to five years in prison and five years extended supervision after pleading guilty to hit-and-run causing death, hit-and-run causing great bodily harm, and two misdemeanor counts of operating while suspended causing great bodily harm. Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Jeffrey Wagner also ordered him to pay $7,000 in restitution.
The man riding in the car with Henderson at the time of the crash told police the pedestrians “came out of nowhere.” He said Henderson panicked and decided to leave the scene. A witness told police she saw a tan vehicle that appeared to be drag racing another car when the pedestrians were hit. The witness did not, however, identify Henderson as the driver.
“What you left behind was a legacy of sadness,” Wagner told Henderson before his 2013 sentencing.
Wagner said the sentence correlated with Henderson’s criminal record of disorderly conduct and driving without a valid license.