Suspect charged in connection with crash that resulted in death of Joe Daniels

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This was the scene that occurred last February that resulted in the death of Joe Daniels. Marquette Wire Stock Photo.

Jordan Jones, 21, was charged Jan. 20 in connection with the hit-and-run crash that resulted in the death of former College of Business Administration dean Joe Daniels last February.

Jones faces the criminal counts of hit-and-run resulting in death and knowingly operating a motor vehicle while suspended.

Daniels was a faculty member at Marquette since 1992 and served as dean of the College of Business Administration beginning in January 2020. Daniels was 60 years old.

Daniels was crossing the 10th Street intersection by Wisconsin Avenue when he was hit by a northbound SUV Feb. 11, 2020. There were several surveillance cameras that captured the crash.

An eyewitness viewed the incident and was instructed to call 911 while an off-duty police officer attempted to provide CPR to Daniels. The Milwaukee Police Department and Marquette University Police Department then took over the scene.

Paramedics responded to the scene and took Daniels to the hospital. He was pronounced dead shortly after.

Officer William Hanney, who filed the criminal complaint, arrived at the scene about 15 minutes following the crash. Hanney did not observe any defects or issues with the road that would have contributed to the crash.

According to the criminal complaint, Jones “failed to reasonably investigate what was struck” and “failed to stop the vehicle he was operating as close to the scene of the accident as possible and remain at the scene of the accident until he did the all of the following: give his name, address and the registration number of the vehicle he or she was operating to the operator or occupant of or person attending any vehicle collided with and, upon request and if available, exhibit his operator’s license to the operator or occupant of or person.”

The criminal complaint indicates that at the time of the incident, the suspect’s vehicle, a red Infiniti, was found crossing the intersection.

The suspect vehicle was found about 300 feet from where the collision occurred. Following the incident, a woman who was arrested after she had previously told officers she was the driver of the vehicle gave a full statement to police that indicated that she was not driving. She said that Jones was driving while she used her phone.

During the interview, she appeared very nervous. On the night of the incident, she and her boyfriend, Jones, had been at an automobile auction test driving vehicles. She had driven a Honda with no license plate back to Jones’ family lot, as Jones was nervous to drive a car without a plate since his license was suspended and he did not want to be pulled over.

Later, Jones then drove back to his home with the woman in tow.

At the time of the incident, Jones told her to switch places with her, as she had a driver’s license. She told police that she was driving, and Jones did too. She said that she was “scared and things got out of control and she didn’t know what to do.”

The woman said she was in the car less than a minute after the crash.

In an analysis of the car, Hanney found that the pedals were very difficult to reach at his height of 5’11. The woman was 5’2 and Jones was 6’2. The mirrors also seemed to be arranged toward a taller individual’s driving preferences.

While in custody, Jones had a phone call with his mother where he expressed concern, saying “if anything switches up it’s over, OK, you get what I’m saying?” His mother said she understands and cautioned him that the phone call was being recorded. Jones said that the woman he was driving with should be okay, as she had a valid driver’s license. He also wanted to check in on his girlfriend, saying that his emotions were all over the place.

Jones maintained that he was not the one driving in a follow-up interview Feb. 18. The criminal complaint indicated that Jones appeared nervous when officers stated that the female companion was not driving the car. Jones said he was not supposed to be driving as he didn’t have a license. The officer informed him that not coming forward as the driver in the incident could result in being charged with a hit-and-run.

Jones also said it was a “sticky situation” because he was a felon.

If Jones is convicted, he could face up to 31 years in prison and fines up to $110,000. His vehicle operating privilege would also be revoked for five years.

This story was written by Annie Mattea. She can be reached at anne.mattea@marquette.edu.