EAU CLAIRE, Wis (WSAU-Wheeler News) A 69-year-old Eau Claire man is about to spend two years in a state prison for causing a drunk driving crash that killed his wife and another woman, and injured seven others. Gerald Larson must also spend four years under extended supervision once he's no longer behind bars. The crash occurred in September of 2012 in the Chippewa County town of Eagle Point.
Authorities said Larson was driving from a bar to a resort when he drove through a stop sign, and collided with another vehicle at an intersection. Larson's wife Karen was killed, along with Lori Barger of Altoona. Three others in Larson's vehicle were hurt, along with four people from Wheeler in the other unit. The driver's blood alcohol level was 0.129 -- over one-and-a-half times the legal limit.
Larson was originally charged with 18 felonies, but they were bargained down to the point in which prosecutors recommended two years in a county jail. Circuit Judge James Isaacson rejected that, ordering prison and supervision instead. His attorney said Larson was very remorseful -- and his cataracts might have been a contributing factor in the mishap.