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Sixth-grade teacher's drunken-driving death creates lesson for students

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A teacher in West Bend killed herself and another person by driving drunk and her school turned that into a lesson of its own Wednesday.

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Students at Badger Middle School were told that all decisions have consequences, and their parents were asked in a letter to reinforce the point.

That's after sixth-grade teacher Rachael Olson drove into the wrong lane on Highway 144 near West Bend on Sept. 18.

She slammed into an oncoming car while her blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit.

Olson, 34, was killed along with a passenger in the other car, Bette Voeks, 60. Wednesday, Washington County Sheriff Dale Schmidt said Olson's blood alcohol was .24, and she was drinking in a West Bend tavern for five hours before driving away.

Text messages indicated that she was driving to a friend's place, but there's no evidence she was on her cell phone at the time of the crash.

Olson lived in Campbellsport.

A school district letter urged parents to explain to their kids how the decision to drink and drive may be "life-altering."

The district also had grief counselors available for the youngsters.

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