(Beaver Dam) A Beaver Dam woman charged with vehicular homicide is heading to trial after waiving her right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday. Cindy Lara-Esparza was reportedly the driver when her vehicle went off Madison Street Bridge and into the Beaver Dam River which resulted in the death of a passenger. Lara-Esparza is also facing an additional felony charge of Homicide by Intoxicated Use of a Vehicle with a Prohibited Alcohol Concentration stemming from the April 2nd incident.
Authorities were dispatched to the area near Ryan Cantafio’s Way, behind Park Plaza Pizza, at 1:52am. Beaver Dam Police Chief John Kreuziger told us at the time that the vehicle was upside down in the river when officers jumped in, encountering waist-deep water and strong currents. The officers were able to get the driver’s side door open and remove Lara-Esparza. The 23-year-old sustained non-life-threatening injuries but her 23-year-old boyfriend, Jared Frakes, was killed.
Acquaintances reportedly told police the couple where having drinks earlier that night at Johnny’s Lounge. According to the criminal complaint, the bartender working that night said he (quote) “felt like they shouldn’t be driving.” Lara-Esparza consented to a blood draw to test for alcohol in her system which allegedly returned a result of point-two-one-two (.212).
If convicted on both charges, Lara-Esparza faces no more than 50 years in prison. An arraignment hearing is scheduled for October 2.