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UPDATE: Man Gets 7 Years in Double Fatal OWI Crash

By: WSAW Staff Email
By: WSAW Staff Email
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UPDATE: Tues 3:44 PM, May 20, 2014

A 23-year-old Rudolph man will spend seven years in prison followed by five years extended supervision after he was convicted of killing two passengers while driving drunk last summer.

During a plea deal with prosecutors in February, Tim Saavedra, 23 pleaded no contest to two counts of homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle and one count of causing injury while intoxicated. As result, five other charges were dismissed were considered during sentencing.

The crash happened on Gumz Road, west of CTH II on July 20, 2013.

When Deputies arrived at the scene, they found Melissa Peterson- Suzda and Stephanie Eberhardt, both 21 inside the truck. Both were pronounced dead at the scene. Lee Hogan, 21, was trapped inside the vehicle, but did survive.

Saavedra was ordered to pay more than $12,500 restitution. He will receive credit for three days already spent in jail.

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UPDATE: Mon 10:45 AM, May 19, 2014

A Rudolph man convicted of killing two people during a crash last summer is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday.

During a plea deal with prosecutors in February, Tim Saavedra, 23 pleaded no contest to two counts of homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle and one count of causing injury while intoxicated. As result, five other charges were dismissed but will be considered during sentencing.

Investigators say the crash happened on Gumz Road, west of CTH II on July 20, 2013. When Deputies arrived at the scene, they found Melissa Peterson- Suzda and Stephanie Eberhardt, both 21 inside the truck. Both were pronounced dead at the scene. Lee Hogan, 21, was trapped inside the vehicle, but did survive.

Saavedra faces a maximum sentence of 62 years in prison.

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UPDATE: Thurs 11:23 AM, Feb. 20, 2014

Online court records indicate a Rudolph man accused of killing two friends during a crash last summer will reach a plea deal with prosecutors Thursday, avoiding a jury trial.

Tim Saavedra, 23, is charged with two counts of homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle, two counts of 2nd degree reckless homicide, along with four additional charges of causing injury while intoxicated.

The crash happened on Gumz Road, west of CTH II on July 20. When Deputies arrived at the scene, they found Melissa Peterson- Suzda and Stephanie Eberhardt, both 21 inside the truck. Both were pronounced dead at the scene. Lee Hogan, 21, was trapped inside the vehicle, but did survive.

The hearing is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. in Portage County Circuit Court.

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UPDATE: Fri 3:32 PM, Oct. 11, 2013

A request to have a new judge and an out of county jury by a man accused of killing two people and injuring a third while drunk driving has been denied.

Also in court court Friday, Tim Saavedra, 22, pleaded not guilty to two counts of homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle, two counts of 2nd degree reckless homicide, along with four additional charges of causing injury while intoxicated.

The crash happened on Gumz Road, west of CTH II on July 20. When Deputies arrived at the scene, they found Melissa Peterson- Suzda and Stephanie Eberhardt, both 21 inside the truck. Both were pronounced dead at the scene. Lee Hogan, 21, was trapped inside the vehicle, but did survive.

Saavedra is free on a $50,000 cash bond. He'll return to court November 15 for a pretrial conference.

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UPDATE: Mon 5:37 PM, Sept 16, 2013

A 22-year-old Rudolph man accused of driving drunk and killing two of his passengers has requested his case be heard by an out-of-county judge.

Online court records show Tim Saavedra was scheduled to enter a plea to his charges Monday, however that hearing has been rescheduled for a later date to allow time for a judge to consider the motions. Saavedra also requested the conditions of his bond be modified.

The crash happened on Gumz Road, west of CTH II on July 20. When Deputies arrived at the scene, they found Melissa Peterson- Suzda and Stephanie Eberhardt, both 21 inside the truck. Both were pronounced dead at the scene. Lee Hogan, 21, was trapped inside the vehicle, but did survive.

As conditions of Saavedra's bond he may not consume alcohol, drive without a valid driver's license, he must participate in a county treatment program, and he cannot have contact with the vicitms' families.

Saavedra posted $25,000 cash bond on July 23 and is no longer in custody.

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The suspect in a double-fatal crash last month in Portage County is expected to be formally charged Monday.

According to the criminal complaint, a crash reconstruction specialist from the State Patrol said the suspect vehicle was traveling at 94 mph just five seconds prior to the truck's airbags deploying.

The crash killed Melissa Peterson- Suzda and Stephanie Eberhardt, both 21. The crash also injured Lee Hogan, 21.

According to the criminal complaint, Saavedra is the one that placed the call to 911. During the initial investigation by a responding Sergeant, Saavedra reportedly said he had drank three pitchers of beer and he estimated he was going 70 mph when the vehicle crashed. He was also quoted as saying, “I guarantee I'll be over the legal limit.”

A preliminary breath test showed Saavedra's BAC was .148.

He'll return to court August 5 and remains behind bars on a $25,000 cash bond.

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UPDATE: Mon 1:35 PM, Jul 22, 2013

Bond has now been set at $25,000 cash for the suspect in a weekend accident that left two women dead. The state had originally asked for $200,000 cash.

Tim Saavedra, 22, made his first court appearance Monday. A judge ordered him to not have contact with the victims' families.

Saavedra will return to court on August 5 to be formally charged.

The crash happened on Gumz Road, west of CTH II in the Town of Linwood around 2 a.m. Saturday morning.

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UPDATE: Mon 10:56 AM, Jul 22, 2013

Tim Saavedra, 22, is expected in Portage County Court Monday afternoon for a bond hearing.

Prosecutors are recommending charges of Homicide by Intoxicated Use of Vehicle and Injury by Intoxicated Use Vehicle.

NewsChannel 7's Hannah Anderson will be in courtroom and will have more information on what turned out to be a dangerous drunk driving weekend in Portage County.

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UPDATE: Sun 3:02 PM, Jul 21, 2013

The Portage County Sheriff's Office says they are advising charges of homicide and causing injury by intoxicated use of a vehicle against 22-year-old Tim Saavedra.

This after Saavedra was allegedly driving a 2003 Silverado which he lost control of. Two 21-year-old women from Wisconsin Rapids were killed in the accident.

Saavedra is expected to appear in a Portage County Court Monday.

Twenty-one-year-old Lee Hogan of Rudolph appears to be doing better after he was airlifted from the accident Saturday morning. Hogan is being treated at St. Joseph's in Marshfield. He was seated in the passenger side of the vehicle.

Law enforcement says speed and alcohol were factors in the accident. The Portage County Sheriff's Office will work with the Wisconsin State Patrol too continue the investigation. They are hoping to learn more about the incident over the next couple of days.

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UPDATE: Sat 4:01 PM, Jul 20, 2013

The Portage County Sheriff's Office has released the names of the two victims who died in a one vehicle accident around 2 a.m. Saturday morning.

From an initial investigation, deputies say they found four occupants in a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado.

Deputies have determined that Tim Saavedra, 22, of Loyal was driving the truck eastbound on Gumz Road when he lost control on the gravel roadway.

The vehicle left the road and hit several trees. The two rear passengers, 21-year-old Melissa Peterson and 21-year-old Stephanie Eberhardt both of Wisconsin Rapids died from their injuries sustained in the crash.

The front passenger, 21-year-old Lee Hogan of Rudolph was airlifted by the Spirit Helicopter to Marshfield.

Saavedra is being held at the Portage County Jail pending charges. The crash is still under investigation.

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ORIGINAL STORY: Sat 1:17 PM, Jul 20, 2013

Portage County Sheriff's Office confirms that two women were killed in a one vehicle accident in the Town of Linwood, outside of Rudolph.

The crash happened on Gumz Road, west of CTH II. When Deputies arrived at the scene, they found two women inside the truck deceased. A man was trapped inside the vehicle as well.

The truck was on its passenger side up against several trees. The Spirit Helicopter was called to the scene.

The male driver of the truck was later taken into custody and is in the Portage County Jail. It appears that speed and alcohol were factors in the crash.

The crash in under investigation.


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