Charges filed in fatal crash that killed 2, injured 7 - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Charges filed in fatal crash that killed 2, injured 7


Eau Claire (WQOW) - One of the drivers in a weekend crash that left two people dead now faces nine felony charges.

Gerald Larson, from Eau Claire, was charged Thursday with two counts of homicide by drunk driving, and seven charges of causing injury by drunk driving.

According to the sheriff's department's investigative report, Gerald Larson's wife Karen, and another passenger, Lori Barger, died when his SUV collided with a pickup truck north of Chippewa Falls. Chippewa County investigators say Larson was intoxicated and ran a stop sign. 

According to investigators, Larson told deputies that all he could remember was that he swerved to miss something. The other driver became emotional while saying he was unable to avoid the collision because he said Larson's vehicle 'came out of nowhere'. When asked several times where he was coming from prior to the crash, deputies say Larson would only say that his shoulder hurt.  But they say he eventually told them they had just left a tavern in Tilden, and said that he had about three beers.

Three others in Larson's vehicle were hurt, including his daughter Jodi Martens. At last word she was still in a coma.  Another passenger, Elizabeth Kopp, was upgraded to fair condition Thursday.  Her husband Doug was also seriously hurt. 

Four people in the pickup truck were injured, including Roger Aspengren. He suffered a fractured neck and other broken bones.

Larson will return to court next month.

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