MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 43-year-old Bethel woman has been ordered to spend one year in jail for killing two in a car crash she caused while driving drunk.

Paula Larson pleaded guilty in August to two counts of criminal vehicular homicide. Last September, she made a maneuver with an SUV on East Bethel’s Viking Boulevard that caused her to collide with a motorcycle, killing 48-year-old John Allen Jordan and 46-year-old Patricia Lyn Kalla.

Larson said she’d been drinking at EJ’s Bar before the crash, and a preliminary breath test showed she had a blood-alcohol level of more than twice the legal limit.

On Thursday, Anoka County District Court Judge Thomas Fitzpatrick sentenced Larson to serve one year in jail and stayed a sentence of 69 months in prison. He also ordered Larson to pay restitution to the victims’ families and to undergo probation for 10 years.

County attorney Tony Palumbo lamented in a press release that this kind of tragedy was “completely preventable.”

Bethel is about 30 miles north of the Twin Cities.


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