Man charged in hit-and-run fatal due in court

MARQUETTE – A Gwinn man charged in connection with a July 4 hit and run accident that killed a Marquette woman and seriously injured her husband is scheduled to appear in Marquette County Circuit Court for a jury trial this month.

Luke Eugene Huotari, 30, is charged with two counts of failure to stop at the scene of an accident that caused serious impairment of a bodily function or death. The charge is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

A pretrial hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Jan. 10, with a jury trial set to begin Jan., 22.

Bryan LaChapell, 39, and his wife Karin, 42, were struck near the intersection of South Front Street and Genesee Street as they walked to watch Marquette’s Fourth of July fireworks display. Police said Karin LaChapell was pronounced dead at Marquette General Hospital. Bryan LaChapell, who had been seriously hurt in the crash and was later listed in stable condition, was discharged July 6.

Huotari is the alleged driver of a white 2000 Honda CRV involved in the crash.

Jackie Stark can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242.