MILWAUKEE -- The former Milwaukee firefighter who pleaded guilty in a crash that killed two people while driving drunk on Opening Day 2016 was sentenced on Friday, July 21st to ten years in prison and another four years of extended supervision.
Joshua Larson pleaded guilty in May to two charges of homicide by use of a vehicle with PAC (prohibited alcohol concentration). Two other charges of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle are being dismissed outright.
The crash happened just after 5:00 p.m. near 60th and Pierce in West Allis on April 4th — Opening Day for the Milwaukee Brewers.
It involved three vehicles — a pickup truck (driven by Joshua Larson), a car and a minivan — and it was captured by surveillance cameras attached to the Johnson Controls building nearby.
The two people killed in the crash were identified as 64-year-old Yoruba Sly-Lundasi of Milwaukee (the driver of the minivan) and 38-year-old Wendell Johnson of Chicago (a passenger in the minivan).
Sly-Lundasi was working as an Uber driver, and Johnson was his passenger. Johnson was visiting Milwaukee on business.
Before the sentencing for two counts of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle with a prohibited alcohol concentration, the daughter of Johnson spoke to the court.
"Today I'm really finding it hard not to be angry with you, Mr. Larson," said Savannah Johnson, Johnson's 15-year-old daughter. "I have a birthday coming up in a few months and my dad won't be here to celebrate it with me."
"I don't know Joshua. I don't know him. But what I know of him now and from now on he is my dad's killer," said Tavaree Sly-Lundasi, Sly-Lundasi's daughter.
Sly-Lundasi's brother recalled how he and his brother, as children, got lost.
"And we got lost and a fireman, a firefighter found us and took us home. And I always did look up to that particular trade," said Steve Townsend, Sly-Lundasi's brother.
Townsend was devastated to learn Larson was a firefighter at the time of the crash.
A fellow firefighter and family spoke of Larson's good character. Then Larson was offered an opportunity to speak.
"I offer my most sincere apology I can muster. I pray every day since it's happened for some solitude for the families," Larson said. "I ask for some smidgen of forgiveness. If not for me, for yourself."
The prosecution asked for eight years in prison for Larson, but based on the seriousness of the crime, the judge imposed ten years.