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Man pleads guilty to causing great injury by drunken driving

Gregory Sanderson

A Hudson man has pleaded guilty to a felony charge of causing great bodily harm by driving while intoxicated.

Gregory L. Sanderson, 47, entered the plea in an appearance before St. Croix County Circuit Judge Edward Vlack on Nov. 4.

He admitted to committing the felony, which carries a maximum penalty of up to 12 years and six months in prison and a fine of $25,000, in exchange for the dismissal of five other criminal counts. Two of the dismissed charges were felonies and three were misdemeanors.

Judge Vlack ordered a presentencing investigation to be conducted and scheduled the sentencing for Jan. 7, 2010.

Sanderson was accused of being drunk when he drove through a red light on Hwy. 12 at County UU on the night of March 29. His pickup truck slammed into the driver's door of a car driven by 19-year-old Timothy M. Casa De Calvo III of Hudson, causing grave injuries to Casa De Calvo and lesser ones to his 8-year-old sister, who was a passenger in the car.

Casa De Calvo spent weeks in Regions Hospital at St. Paul recovering from abdominal injuries and skull, rib and pelvic fractures.

His mother, Billie Jo Barker, said in a phone call last week that Casa De Calvo hasn't recovered completely from the crash - but he that has been able to work.

Barker said she expects Sanderson to be sentenced to at least six years in prison.

"All in all, am I thrilled? No," she said of the plea agreement. "...But do I think that it was fair? Yes, I do."

Randy Hanson

Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.

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