Janesville woman charged in fatal crash

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

— A Janesville woman was expected to make an initial court appearance today on charges that she killed one person and injured three others while driving drunk Aug. 18.

Tara A. Carlson, 39, of 1109 Harmony Circle NW, Janesville, is charged with homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle and three counts of operating while intoxicated and causing injury.

She is free from the Rock County Jail after posting an $8,000 bond, according to jail records.

According to a news release from the Rock County Sheriff's Office, Carlson was driving north on Highway 11 near County B in the town of Janesville just before 10:30 p.m. Aug. 18. She failed to stop at the intersection, which has a stop sign and a flashing red light, according to the criminal complaint filed Monday in Rock County Court.

Carlson's Chevrolet Impala T-boned a Kia Altima driven by Randall J. Owens, 64, Footville, according to the complaint.

A passenger in Owens' vehicle, James M. Menard, 64, Chicago, was pronounced dead at the scene. Owens and two passengers, Ellen Owens, 56, and Ruth A. Coyle, 57, Chicago, were treated and released at Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center, Janesville.

Carlson was transported by helicopter to University Hospital, Madison.

She told police she had four beers at a wedding reception in Beloit before the crash, according to the complaint. She said she left the reception after a fight with her boyfriend and remembers nothing before or after the crash.

Carlson faces 25 years in prison on the homicide charge and up to three years in jail for the misdemeanor causing injury charges.

She also was ticketed for intoxicated driving, failure to stop and failure to wear a seat belt.

Last updated: 5:04 pm Tuesday, August 27, 2013

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