A Bethel woman has been charged with vehicular homicide after a preliminary breath test revealed that she had a blood alcohol concentration that was more than twice the legal limit when she collided with a motorcycle, killing both riders.
Patricia Larson, 42, was charged on September 18 in Anoka County District Court with two counts of vehicular homicide in the deaths of 46-year-old Patricia Kalla and 48-year-old John Jordan.
The crash occurred on September 16 just before 7:30 p.m. at an intersection in East Bethel. Larson’s preliminary breath test showed that her blood alcohol concentration was 0.195, according to the charges. The legal limit in Minnesota is 0.08.
At first, Larson told police that she had not been drinking, but then said that she had just left EJ’s Bar and Bottle Shop, which is only 2 miles northeast from the site of the accident. She said, according to the criminal complaint, that she only had two drinks before getting behind the wheel of the car.
When deputies arrived on the scene, they say that Kalla and Jordan had suffered severe head injuries. Neither one of them were wearing helmets.
Kalla was a mother of three and her ex husband, Wayne Kalla, said that her death occurred at a time when she was just starting to enjoy her life. She had recently moved from Big Lake, Minnesota to St. Francis so she could live with Jordan. She had also just fulfilled her dream of becoming a flight attendant and had been an employee of Delta Airlines for two years.
Mr. Kalla said she was working steadily and that she and Jordan were very happy together. She had also just seen her twin sons graduate from high school this past spring.
The complaint states that both vehicles were heading west on Viking with Larson making an “unknown maneuver” that caused her sport-utility vehicle to cross into the path of the motorcycle. Because there were no witnesses present at the time of the accident, it is not certain who was driving the motorcycle, but it is assumed Jordan was driving because the bike is registered to him. Both were thrown a considerable distance from the motorcycle upon impact.
Currently, Larson is out of jail after posting bond.
Larson’s driving history shows that she has past convictions for failure to drive with due care and failure to stop for a traffic signal.