Man loses leg after drunk driver crashes through garage, pinning him against wall

Posted at 10:25 PM, Feb 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-09 23:25:15-05

A Waukesha County woman is charged with driving drunk, crashing into a home, and seriously injuring a man inside. It happened two months ago, and the man who almost lost everything says he is still putting his life back together.

Larry Hansen used to be healthy and active. Now he needs a wheelchair to get around, he can't take a shower, and can't even sleep in his bed.

His list of injuries is long.

"Fractured back, brain bleeds, and this wrist is broken. All the ligaments except the one on the inside of my knee were ripped off. My ankle was broken. I ended up losing my right leg," said Hansen.

It all happened when Hansen was out working in his garage around 7:00 p.m. on a Thursday night on December 8, 2016.  Earlier that day, Jennifer Yaeger Beranek was at a bar, according to court records. It showed that her blood alcohol was three times over the legal limit when she decided to drive home.

Even though it's been two months, the tire tracks are still visible where Yaeger Barenek allegedly drove across a grassy off-ramp, striking a median, and then going straight into Larry Hansen's garage.

He was pinned to the wall. His wife was inside the house. She thought there had been some kind of an explosion.

"All the walls were shaking...I ran down the hall and the cement bricks were coming in from the back of the garage," said Linda Hansen.

It took firefighters 45 minutes to free Hansen. They tried to keep Linda from seeing her husband and his legs.

"It was like meat tenderloin. All the skin had peeled away," said Linda Hansen.

The right leg that was shattered had to be amputated. The surgeons would eventually use the skin from that leg to save his other one.

At the same time, Yaeger Beranek went to the hospital with just a small cut on her hand. Before officers took her away, court records show she punched one in the face. 

Larry Hansen said he could get angry when he thinks about what happened to him, but instead he chooses to focus on moving forward.

"I just want to get walking, and kinda want to get back to where I was. Which I don't know if I will be totally but that's where I want to go," said Larry Hansen.

Yaeger Beranek was charged with two felonies, including intoxicated use of a vehicle causing great bodily harm. She could face up to 12 years in prison.

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