Prosecutors Friday charged an Onalaska driver with vehicular homicide in connection with the death of his longtime girlfriend.
John P. Marshall, 29, was operating a snowmobile Jan. 23 in the town of Onalaska when passenger Miranda Roellich struck her head on a tree hanging across a trail, according to the complaint filed in La Crosse County Circuit Court. He had a 0.09 percent blood alcohol concentration.
Roellich, of Brice Prairie, died Feb. 6. She was 27.
Marshall is charged with homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle and with a prohibited alcohol concentration. He returns to court April 4 for his preliminary hearing.
Authorities found Roellich on the bike trail west of Lytle’s Landing about 10:30 p.m. and Marshall vomiting nearby, the complaint stated. He said he ducked to avoid the tree but that it struck Roellich in the head, throwing her from the snowmobile. She was wearing a helmet.
Marshall wasn’t able to spell his girlfriend’s name or state the correct time of night. He told authorities he drank six beers throughout the day and that he shouldn’t have been driving the snowmobile, according to the complaint.
Roellich, a La Crosse native, was a manager at the Ultimate Salon and Spa in Onalaska.
“Miranda was bright in both mind and spirit. Her smile lit up every room she entered, and she will be forever missed by her family and friends,” according to her obituary. “Once you met Miranda, you never forgot her.”