NEW INFO: Man at the wheel of deadly Eagle Point crash faces criminal charges

By: Aaron Dimick, WEAU STAFF Email
By: Aaron Dimick, WEAU STAFF Email

(WEAU) - The Eau Claire man suspected in a crash that killed two women and injured eight near chippewa falls is now facing criminal charges.

67-year-old Gerald Larson is out of jail after posting bond Monday.

The charges include 2-counts of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle.

Investigators say Larson was driving an s-u-v saturday night and went through a stop sign at County Road-B and state Highway-124 north of Chippewa Falls.

A truck with 4-people inside T-boned the SUV.

Deputies say alcohol was involved in the crash.

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CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis (WEAU) --The man arrested in a crash that killed two people and injured eight others made his first appearance in court.

67-year old Gerald Larson of Eau Claire posted $2,000 bond this morning in Chippewa County Circuit Court and was released from jail.

Formal charges of homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle and of causing injury or great bodily harm by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle are expected to be filed against Larson.

Deputies say Larson was the driver in an SUV when the vehicle blew past a stop sign at the intersection of County Road B and Highway 124, north of Chippewa, and was t-boned by a truck.

Two women in the SUV, 67-year-old Karen Larson and 55 year-old Lori Barger, were killed.

"In an accident involving fatalities there is a lot of work that has to be done. First and foremost the reconstruction is going to be our emphasis,” said Chippewa County Sheriff Jim Kowalczyk

Kowalczyk says deputies are still investigating the events leading up to the crash. Deputies are awaiting the results of a legal blood draw Larson was given the night of the accident. He is suspected of driving drunk.
"The scene will tell you a lot of things itself, such as skid marks and road conditions," said Kowalczyk

One of the things deputies are looking at is if visibility was a factor. The intersection is surrounded by crops.

"We want to talk to all persons involved, survives in each car and witnesses and we do have witnesses," said Kowalczyk

Larson is expected back in court on Thursday. He has no prior record.
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CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) -The man arrested in a crash that killed two people and injured eight others made his first appearance in court Monday.

Bond was set at $2,000 cash for 67-year-old Gerald Larson.

Deputies say he was the drive of an SUV that was carrying five other people when he shot through an intersection without stopping.

Saturday's accident in Eagle Point is still under investigation.

The truck, carrying four people, T-boned an SUV carrying five people.

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TOWN OF EAGLE POINT, Wis. (WEAU) – The investigation continues into the gruesome accident that killed two people and injured eight others.

And now new details are coming out as to what might have caused the terrifying crash.

It happened just before 10 pm Saturday in the Town of Eagle Point.

The Chippewa County Sheriff's Department said an SUV was going east on County Road B when it blew through a stop sign and was t-boned by a pickup truck traveling north on Highway 124.

Captain Eugene Gutsch said the SUV went into a ditch while the pickup truck rolled into a nearby cornfield.

Deputies said the driver of the SUV, 67-year-old Gerald Larson was injured and is suspected of drunk driving.

In that vehicle were 67-year-old Karen Larson and 55-year-old Lori Barger.

Both women died from injuries in the crash.

Other passengers who were taken to the hospital were Doug Kopp, 53, Elizabeth Kopp, 50 and Jodi Martens, 43.

All four people in the pickup truck were taken to the hospital with injuries.

Deputies said 39-year-old Scott Aspengren was behind the wheel of the truck.

And his passengers were Cole Aspengren, a juvenile of an unknown age, Roger Aspengren, 62 and Ranona Aspengren , 59 years old.

Seven local law enforcement and fire departments along with two helicopters were quickly on the scene to rush victims to the hospital.

On Sunday, WEAU 13 News spoke to an area man who stopped at the crash scene on his drive home to help make that happen.

“Looked like a pretty violent crash,” said Austin Howard.

Howard said he was on his way home when he came upon the horrific crash.

Being one of the first people on the scene and a former EMT, the Holcombe man said he felt compelled to lend a hand.

“I've never been involved in that many people at one time. It was organized chaos. It was a mess,” Howard said.

He said he worked with the emergency responders on scene.

“Putting people on the boards, putting people on the gunnies, get them into the ambulances,” Howard said.

To get a better idea of what happened that night, deputies have already marked the pavement to help in the crash reconstruction.

The Sheriff's Department said charges are expected for homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle and causing bodily harm by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle.

Capt. Gutsch said the department is awaiting blood alcohol test results from the state crime lab.

Howard said he was just doing what felt natural.

“I'm a human being and I don't want to see any other human beings in trouble. Just seemed like the right thing to do,” Howard said.
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NEWS RELEASE - CHIPPEWA CO. SHERIFF'S OFFICE:

Incident: 2 vehicle Fatal Motor Vehicle Crash
Location: Town of Eagle Point STH 124 @ CTH B
Date: Saturday 09-08-12 @ 2127 hrs
Deceased: 2—Injured: 8

Agency’s involved: Chippewa County Sheriff’s Dept., Bloomer Ambulance, Chippewa Falls Fire and Rescue, Chippewa Fire District Ambulance, Mayo Helicopter, Life Link Helicopter, Eagle Point Fire, Tilden Fire and the Wisconsin State Patrol.

Synopsis: On 09-08-12 at 927pm the Chippewa County Sheriffs Dept. was advised of an injury accident which had occurred on STH 124 at the intersection of CTH B. Upon arrival it was determined that there were a total of 10 subjects injured in a 2 vehicle accident. The agencies listed above responded to the scene. 9 occupants were injured and transported to local hospitals.

1 passenger was pronounced deceased at the scene. STH 124 was closed for nearly 3 hours due to the landing and departure of medical helicopters from the crash scene.

Vehicle #1 was a 2012 Dodge pickup that had 4 occupants and was travelling north on STH 124. All 4 subjects were injured and transported.
Driver: Scott Aspengren 39YOA
Injured: Cole Aspengren Juvenile
Roger Aspengren 62 YOA
Ranona Aspengren 59 YOA

Vehicle #2 was a 2004 Chevrolet Suburban that had 6 occupants and was traveling east on CTH B approaching the intersection of STH 124. 1 passenger pronounced dead at the scene and another passenger pronounced dead at Luther Hospital. The driver and 3 other occupants were transported too for injuries.
Driver : Gerald Larson 67YOA
Deceased: Karen Larson 67 YOA
Lori Barger 55 YOA
Injured: Doug Kopp 53 YOA
Elizabeth Kopp 50 YOA
Jodi Martens 43 YOA

Investigation at this time shows that the 2012 Dodge truck operated by Aspengren was traveling north on STH 124 approaching the intersection of CTH B.

The Chev Suburban operated by Gerald Larsen was travelling east on CTH B and failed to stop at the intersection of CTH B and STH 124.

The Chev Suburban operated by Larson was struck in the passenger side as it crossed in front of the pickup truck travelling north on STH 124 operated by Aspengren. Collision caused extensive damage to both vehicles.

Alcohol is believed to be a contributing factor in the crash; legal blood was taken from the operator of the Chev Suburban Gerald Larson.

Formal charges are expected to be filed with the District Attorney’s Office for Homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle and causing injury / great bodily harm by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle.
The extent of injuries are not known at the time of this press release however it is believed all injured parties remain hospitalized at this time.

The investigation continues.

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EAGLE POINT, WIS (WEAU) - One person is dead and nine others injured after a truck and SUV collide on Highway 124 and County Rd B at 105th in Eagle Point.

(See pics from the scene on our Facebook page)

Chippewa County Sheriff Captain Eugene Gutsch says the crash happened just before 10:00pm (Saturday).

He says the SUV traveling east on County Rd B failed to stop at a stop sign.

Gutsch says three people were flown by helicopter to the hospital and the other victims by ambulance.

No names, ages or conditions have been released.

Gutsch tells us Sunday that six people were in one vehicle and four people were in the other.

Deputies says they are still trying to identify all the injured.

Gutsch says deputies are reconstructing the site on Sunday.

Both drivers did survive.
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EAGLE POINT, Wis (WEAU)-- Wisconsin State Patrol says there has been a fatal crash on 105th Ave in Chippewa County near Eagle Point.
The crash happened at 9:27 pm.
Wis 124 is closed in both directions and deputies are rerouting traffic.
We have a reporter on scene who says there are helicopters on scene and several ambulances.
It is not been confirmed how many people were involved in the crash.


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