Carlson stands mute on charges in fatal crash

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

— A not guilty plea was entered Wednesday for a Janesville woman accused of killing one person and injuring three others in a car crash while she was intoxicated.

Tara A. Carlson, 39, of 1109 Harmony Circle NW, Janesville, stood mute Wednesday to charges of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle and three counts of causing injury by intoxicated use of a vehicle.

A not guilty plea was entered for her by the court.

Carlson on Aug. 18 was driving north on Highway 11 and failed to stop at County B west of Janesville, according to court documents.

Her car struck a car driven by Randall J. Owens, 64, Footville. Owens and two passengers were injured, as was Carlson. A fourth passenger in Owens' car, James M. Menard, 64, Chicago, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Carlson was transported by helicopter to University Hospital, Madison. She told police she had four beers at a wedding reception in Beloit before driving back to Janesville, according to the complaint. She said she left after a fight with her boyfriend. She remembers nothing before or after the crash.

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

Carlson is free after posting an $8,000 bond. Her next court date has not been scheduled.

Last updated: 11:47 am Thursday, March 14, 2013

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