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2017 fatal crash, where drunk driver crossed center line doing 95 mph, leads to homicide charge

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A La Crosse driver accused of causing a fatal crash over a year ago is now charged with homicide by drunk driving in that case.

David Sanders is charged with three counts, resulting from a July 2017 crash near Barre Mills that killed Maria Gartner.

Investigators say the 33-year-old Sanders was driving a pickup that crossed the center line on County Highway FO and hit Gartner’s oncoming car. The 26-year-old was dead at the scene.

A state-ordered reconstruction of the accident determined that Sanders was going 95 miles an hour, seconds before the collision.

His blood-alcohol level was .08.

Sanders made a brief appearance in court last week, responding to a warrant issued in August. He appeared on his own with his attorney and was not jailed.

Prosecutor John Kellis said the state’s reconstruction of the collision was not completed until a few weeks ago.

Sanders has a previous OWI case on his record from eight years ago.

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