Charge filed in 2016 St. Croix county motorcycle death


The driver in a 2016 motorcycle crash that left a Prescott mom dead was charged this week with homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle.

St. Croix County prosecutors filed the charge Monday, July 3, against Joshua D. Sykora, a 35-year-old Hastings resident.

Authorities said the June 25, 2016, crash in the town of Troy killed Sykora's then-girlfriend, 38-year-old Brooke A. Ptacek-Baker, a Hastings business owner and mother of two children.

St. Croix County sheriff's deputies responded to the crash at 4:02 a.m. on County Road F near Riverview Drive after a deputy on patrol found Sykora lying in the median.

According to a criminal complaint, deputies asked Sykora when he'd last seen Ptacek-Baker. The charging document states he told them he had dropped her off at her car in Hudson before the crash.

Ptacek-Baker was found shortly after in a nearby ditch along with the 2005 Harley-Davidson authorities said Sykora was driving. An autopsy report concluded she died from injuries sustained in a motor vehicle crash, the complaint states.

Sykora told authorities he was headed to Ptacek-Baker's home in Prescott when he encountered a deer in the road, braked and crashed.

Investigators suspected Sykora was southbound on County Road F when the motorcycle left the roadway, entered a ditch and overturned. Neither rider was wearing a helmet, authorities said.

Sykora submitted to a blood test that revealed a 0.07 blood-alcohol level, according to Wisconsin State Laboratory results included in the complaint.

According to the complaint, a witness told a St. Croix County sheriff's investigator that she and her boyfriend had been out drinking with Sykora and Ptacek-Baker earlier that night in downtown Hudson. An inventory of Sykora's possessions included a receipt issued at 1:51 a.m. June 25 from the Smilin' Moose bar in downtown Hudson, the complaint states.

Minnesota court records show Sykora was convicted of three traffic offenses between 2012 and 2014. A careless driving charge was dismissed as part of a 2008 plea agreement in a Goodhue County case alleging Sykora drove 101 mph in a 65 mph zone. He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor speeding in that case.

Sykora's initial court appearance in Wisconsin is set for Aug. 17.