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Viroqua man receives drug, OWI charges after crashing into school bus

The 32-year-old man is charged with possession of meth, THC and controlled substances, as well as 2nd-degree recklessly endangering safety and hit and run.
32-year-old Timothy Larson of Viroqua is charged after crashing into a school bus April 25,...
32-year-old Timothy Larson of Viroqua is charged after crashing into a school bus April 25, 2022 in Monroe County, Wis.(Monroe County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Apr. 26, 2022 at 4:17 PM CDT
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SPARTA, Wis. (WEAU) - A Viroqua man is accused of crashing into a school bus and leaving the scene of the crash while possessing meth and other controlled substances.

32-year-old Timothy Larson was charged Tuesday in Monroe County Circuit Court with eight felony and four misdemeanor charges and was issued four traffic citations, according to online court records.

Larson is charged with possession with the intent to sell meth and THC, 2nd-degree recklessly endangering safety, two counts of possession of a controlled substance, operating while revoked, OWI-3rd offense, hit and run, resisting or obstructing an officer, and five counts of felony bail jumping. He was also cited for failing to stop for an unloading school bus, operating left of center, operating a motor vehicle without insurance and inattentive driving.

According to the criminal complaint filed with the charges, Larson crashed a vehicle into the back of a school bus Monday at 6:56 a.m. on Highway 27 in the Town of Leon in Monroe County. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Department arrived on the scene at 7:06 a.m. and found a bus that had been rear-ended by a car, but the driver was not at the scene. Two people who were at the crash scene said the driver left on foot heading south. Deputies found Larson carrying a backpack about two miles south of the crash on Highway 27.

Larson initially told deputies that the brakes went out in his car, which resulted in the crash, and was heading to a tavern to make a phone call to have someone pick him up. Deputies asked if Larson was using any drugs and Larson said he was taking a medication but it didn’t affect his driving. Larson admitted that his license had previously been revoked for OWI. Deputies said they noticed signs of impairment and asked Larson what he had in the backpack, but Larson didn’t let the Sheriff’s Department search it.

Deputies began investigating the crash and found a plastic bottle filled with synthetic urine and a USB drive in the trunk. Larson said the bottle was his girlfriend’s and the car was registered to a friend and that he was borrowing it to go to court. A witness to the crash said that they saw Larson’s head moving down, as if he were falling asleep, and saw him cross the center line several times, once nearly hitting an oncoming semi. Deputies arrested Larson on suspicion of OWI and searched his backpack to find six pill bags containing a total of 9.5 grams of meth, another bag containing marijuana, two different bags containing pills later identified as alprazolam and clonazepam, which are controlled substances, an unused syringe and personal items. Larson said the pills were his but the meth and marijuana belonged to his friend.

Deputies were able to get a warrant for a blood draw to test for drugs. According to the criminal complaint, Larson told deputies several conflicting stories about what he was doing Monday. Larson has an open case in Price County from March for meth and THC possession, OWI, operating while revoked, fleeing an officer and resisting or obstructing an officer. Larson was also charge in February in Vernon County for operating while revoked. In February, Larson was cited for speeding 45 miles per hour over the speed limit, recklessly endangering safety, crossing the center line and refusing to take an intoxication test after arrest. Larson also has an open case from January in Vernon County for possession of THC. Larson is also facing several felony drug charges in open cases from 2021 in Vernon County.

Larson is being held at the Monroe County Jail on a $5,000 cash bond. His next court appearance is scheduled for May 6.

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