RACINE — A Caledonia man who is charged with allegedly killing a father and daughter while driving drunk last November pleaded no contest to charges in court Monday.
Levi G. Ruohonen, 26, of the 4500 block of Valley Road, appeared for a plea hearing Monday morning. Last December, Ruohonen pleaded not guilty to the charges.
As part of a plea agreement, Ruohonen pleaded no contest to two felony counts of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle while having a prior intoxicant-related conviction or revocation. Two charges of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle while having a prohibited alcohol concentration while having a prior intoxicant-related conviction or revocation were dismissed as part of the agreement.
Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.
Ruohonen was immediately taken into custody following the hearing. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 23 at the Law Enforcement Center, 717 Wisconsin Ave.
Horrific crash scene
The fatal crash occurred on Nov. 25, 2016. At approximately 4:45 p.m. that day, near the intersection of 4 Mile and Short roads, police say Ruohonen crashed his large four-door pickup into the back of a car driven by Kevin M. Dalley, 39. Dalley’s daughters Emily, 9, and another daughter, 6, were both in the car at the time.
Both Kevin and Emily were killed in the crash. The 6-year-old girl was injured but survived.
The family was just feet from their Caledonia home when the crash occurred. The impact reportedly was so powerful that an officer reported he “was unable to discern where the truck ended and the sedan started.”