Wisconsin man takes first steps after losing leg in drunk driving accident

Posted at 9:31 PM, Jun 07, 2017

An Okauchee man got the chance to take his first steps in months after an alleged drunk driver took one of his legs.

Larry Hansen was working on a car in his garage on Dec. 8, the night court records say Jennifer Yaeger Beranek was drunk behind the wheel when she ran her car off a ramp, through a median and into Larry's garage, pinning him to a wall. The court records also said Yaeger Beranek three times over the legal blood alcohol limit. 

Eventually, his leg had to be amputated. Since then, he has dreamed of one thing, walking.

"Everyday I get up, I have a wheelchair right by the bed. I have to get in there," Hansen said. "If I shower I have to sit down. If I have to go to the bathroom I have to use a walker to get in there."

It has been an adjustment for Hansen, to say the least.

"It's just a whole new life, a whole different daily routine. It's probably never going to be what it was before," said his wife Linda Hansen.

When Larry got out of the hospital he was confined to a bed in his basement. He's had at least 15 surgeries. 

"We didn't count them," Larry said.

The main goal is to get him walking again. Doctors surprised him with a temporary gift during his recent trip to therapy.

"They give you a test leg," Larry said.

His wife Linda ran to get the camera as he tried it.

"Where should I put this down?" Larry asked as his prosthetic leg hovered in the air.

"I think I was shaking more than he was out of excitement," Linda said as she watched.

"To put it on and then to walk. It brought tears to my eyes," Larry said.

Larry still has a long way to go to get a permanent prosthetic.

"This is the next chapter in our life so it was a big day for us," Linda said.

The prosthetic that Larry will use to walk will cost between $35,000 and $50,000. The group called “The Open Road Angels" is throwing a benefit for him this weekend to help him pay for it.

The event scheduled for this Saturday, June 10 at the Okauchee American Legion at N50 W34750 Wisconsin Ave. and will feature a morning benefit motorcycle ride, a silent auction with up to 200 major prizes including a trip to Las Vegas and an afternoon concert.