Janesville man convicted in 2002 death arrested in Friday fatal crash

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Gazette staff
Saturday, October 21, 2017

TOWN OF SPRING GROVE—A Janesville man convicted in a 2002 vehicular homicide was arrested Friday in Green County in another traffic death.

Nathan L. Leopold, 44, Janesville, fell asleep behind the wheel while driving intoxicated, according to a release from the Green County Sheriff's Office. His vehicle crossed the center line and crashed into another car near Brodhead, killing one person and injuring another person shortly after 6 p.m. Friday.

Leopold was eastbound on Highway 11 near Highway 81 when his vehicle collided with an oncoming vehicle driven by a 70-year-old Juda man, according to the release.

The Juda man was killed, and a passenger with him, a 12-year-old Brodhead girl, as injured, the sheriff's office reported. Authorities have not released the names of the victims.

Leopold and the Brodhead girl were transported by ambulance to Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center, Janesville. Rock County authorities said Leopold was booked into Rock County Jail on Saturday night.

Leopold was cited for operating while under the influence of drugs, according to the sheriff's office. The crash remains under investigation.

Leopold has a past history of intoxicated driving arrests, according to online court records, and it's not the first time he was involved in a vehicle accident that killed someone, according to court records.

Leopold pleaded no contest in a 2002 Dane County case in which he was accused of one count of hit-and-run involving death, and one count of homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle, according to online court records. News reports at the time indicated he was driving a vehicle that struck and killed a jogger.

He was sentenced to five years, seven months in prison.

His sentence included supervised release, the terms of which at the time prohibited Leopold from drinking alcohol or visiting taverns or liquor stores.

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