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John P. Marshall


An Onalaska man once charged with vehicular homicide in the death of his girlfriend drove his pickup truck off a bike trial and into a slough early Saturday, according to reports.

John P. Marshall, 29, was still “somewhat intoxicated” when authorities made contact with him hours after the crash, according to a La Crosse County Sheriff’s Department report released Thursday, but there were not sufficient grounds for field sobriety testing.

A passerby discovered the unoccupied truck partially submerged in a slough off the Great River State Bike Trail about one mile north of Lytle’s Landing in the town of Onalaska and alerted authorities about 8:30 a.m., the report stated.

Deputies tracked Marshall to a friend’s house on Hwy. ZB. He told authorities he left that house and drove north on the bike trail between midnight and 3 a.m. and into the slough before he escaped the truck when it overturned, according to the report.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is investigating.

Prosecutors on March 18 charged Marshall with vehicular homicide in connection with the death of his longtime girlfriend, 27-year-old Miranda Roellich.

Marshall was operating a snowmobile Jan. 23 in the town of Onalaska west of Lytle’s Landing when Roellich struck her head on a tree hanging across the trail, throwing her from the vehicle, according to the complaint filed in La Crosse County Circuit Court. He had a 0.09 percent blood alcohol concentration.

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.

A judge on April 11 dismissed charges of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle and with a prohibited alcohol concentration during his preliminary hearing, finding prosecutors did not present enough evidence to substantiate the charge.

“The issue long-term is going to be whether the accident would have happened regardless of whether Mr. Marshall was drinking,” Circuit Judge Ramona Gonzalez said. “If it’s just because he was on the trail, that’s kind of a weak case.”

Prosecutors are considering whether to re-file charges in the case.

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(19) comments

james know better

John, check yourself into a treatment program before a judge does it for you. Mom and Dad, if he can't get it together you have to be strong and take him to a place that can help him. Again, before a judge does it for you. He will go back to court and the result will be very different.


Guy needs to QUIT drinking and move away from here and get help , but biggest thing is QUIT drinking ,as he was drinking the night of the death ,that should have made him stop drinking ???


maybe he is mourning his girlfriend in the wrong way, but doesn't want to be here on earth with the guilt he has to live with, soooo......

Union Man

to the author...did Mr Marshall roll his truck in the same location his girlfriend was killed?


Hopefully this guy finally gets what he deserves.


I originally defended him with the snowmobile thing. Now I feel like an idiot. He's a danger to society it's clear. Needs to be off the streets, trails and waterways.


Bit of a drunkard then, what?


This is definitely a cry for help. Please....get yourself into counseling and learn how to deal with the terrible accident that took her life. I feel so very bad for you. Don't let this accident define who you are.


Cry for help sure it is......sounds like someone has a drinking problem and took his get out of jail card for granted in the last episode.....


This drunker loser is "crying" for only one thing - to stay out of prison so he can go back to his drunken loser lifestyle.


.09 is barely a buzz, so I think his inability to spell her name, was more due to the shock of just losing your longterm girlfriend. let's be real here


.09 is not barely a buzz. I've talked to a police officer who once went to a training where they sat and drank and blew into a breathalizer to see what it felt like at certain levels, at .08, legally drunk, he was past "barely a buzz" and knew that there was no way he could drive

you think you know

That all depends on your tolerance to alcohol. To a person who sits at a bar every day and drinks a 12 pack for a year straight, .09 while still illegal, wouldn't feel like anything. To others who rarely drink and their body isn't used to alcohol, a .04 is quite disruptive. That is why police have the offer to give a form of OWI to offenders starting at .04.


who do you we have to mourn next before you learn your lesson?


To answer Ramona Gonzales: It looks like- no it probably wouldn't have happened had he not been drinking and his latest drinking and driving effort proves it. These aren't just coincidental events.


This guy is a looser. He killed his girlfriend. He drove down a bike path. This is all tied to alchol. They need to do something about him drinking. When he drinks. He shows he cannot drive a vehicle safely.


Lets hope the light comes on before its too late!


He has no business driving a truck on the bike trail. Take away his license AND his truck, then put him on a work crew to fix the damage done to the trail by a******s like hime.


Get some help buddy...before something else happens.

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