Fatal Car Crash Ruled Homicide

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Police are now classifying the death of a 33-year-old woman involved in a car accident in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, as a homicide. The incident occurred around 6:20 p.m. on Tuesday, February 13, 2024.

The Fond du Lac Police Department (FDLPD) was called to the scene of the accident where Ashley Ann Calo, a 33-year-old mother, was discovered slumped over the steering wheel of her car which had collided with a pile of landscaping bricks, coming to rest atop shrubbery. 

Her three-year-old son was found in the vehicle unharmed. The young child, who was in the back seat, was quickly removed by first responders. Despite prompt life-saving attempts, Calo died from her injuries at a local hospital.

Dawn Smet, who runs The Dog House, a bar that is very close to the crash site, recounted the immediate aftermath. “I initially thought it could have been just a car in an accident, but as we approached, we noticed someone inside [the vehicle], so we immediately dialed 911,” stated Smet. “The police and ambulance arrived on the scene rapidly, very promptly,” she added.

An investigation revealed disturbing details about the victim’s condition before the crash. A close acquaintance of Calo, Jason Smith, disclosed to investigators that the victim had suffered multiple stab wounds—one to the stomach and another to the neck, before the accident. This information prompted police to reclassify Calo’s death as a homicide.

Smet shared that the police informed her that Calo’s death was possibly connected to another event nearby that took place around the time of the crash. 

A man who works in the area said police were investigating a pool of blood and a weapon on the ground outside of a nearby Anytime Fitness.

In connection with Calo’s death, Annaka Winter Trudell, 20, from Fond du Lac, has been arrested and charged with first-degree reckless homicide. A 21-year-old man, also from Fond du Lac, has been detained on charges of harboring or aiding a felon. 

Friends and family are sharing memories of Calo’s infectious laughter, love, and zest for life. Briana Ilgen, a friend for over a decade, praised Calo’s ability to light up a room with her smile and humor, emphasizing her deep love for her son, who reciprocated that affection profoundly.

Derik Golemgeski, another long-time friend, highlighted Calo’s humorous and vibrant nature. “It’s difficult to express, but her smile and the positive impact she had on people were extraordinary. Her absence is felt deeply,” Golemgeski remarked.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to support Calo’s young son and cover funeral expenses. The page, organized by her friends Hollyann Zastrow and Kierra Hoover, has raised over $5,000. 

Zastrow commented on the fundraising page that Calo was an unparalleled friend, cherishing her son above all else in this life. Her smile had the power to illuminate the gloomiest spaces. She was always there for you in any situation.

In a statement issued on Thursday, February 15, the FDLPD expressed gratitude towards the community and their social media followers for their assistance and followthrough regarding an FDLPD post requesting help on this case. 

“The act of sharing the post was instrumental in obtaining a tip that resulted in an arrest,” police stated. “This demonstrates the critical importance of community involvement and engagement with the FDLPD.”

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