Man responsible for fatal snowmobile crash is sentenced to 3 years behind bars

UPDATE:
Neillsville (WQOW) –
A Clark County man whose passenger died in a crash was sentenced Friday.

Steven Lauenstein, from Loyal, will spend the next three years behind bars. 

Clark County investigators say it appears his snowmobile was traveling at high speed when it went out of control and rolled in February of last year. His passenger, Robert Kurz, was killed. According to police, the men had been drinking at the bar that night.

Lauenstein was credited for 360 days already spent in jail. Once released, he is ordered to maintain absolute sobriety.


Posted April 2017
Neillsville (WQOW) —
Court records show a judge lowered the bail for the driver of a snowmobile that crashed and killed his passenger in February in Clark County. 

Steven Lauenstein, 46, has pleaded not guilty to two felonies – operating a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent and homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle – in the crash that killed Robert Kurz.

Lauenstein has been jailed on a $7,500 cash bond, but according to court records, a judge lowered it to $4,000 on the condition that Lauenstein submit to urine testing five days a week. Lauenstein asked for the bond to be reduced to $1,500 cash.

According to the criminal complaint, Kurz was killed Feb. 12 when snowmobile rolled and struck some trees. Lauenstein was able to walk to a home and report it to authorities around 6:45 a.m.

The homeowner who helped Lauenstein said the snowmobiler "appeared to be out of it or stunned" and did not know for sure if someone else was with him, the complaint said.

Lauenstein told investigators that before the crash he and Kurz had been at the Little Club Bar near Spencer but he did not know what time he arrived, the complaint said. He said they had two or three drinks before leaving about 1:30 a.m.

A bartender told investigators the men spent about 2 1/2 hours at the bar and Lauenstein drank two "Winsor and coke doubles," the complaint said.

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