DWI Deaths

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The family of one of two Nebraska couples killed by a drunken Bureau of Indian Affairs employee in a head-on crash west of Albuquerque has settled its lawsuit with the federal government.

The wrongful death lawsuit filed in Albuquerque in October 2002 on behalf of Larry and Rita Beller claimed the BIA negligently allowed Lloyd Larson to drive a government vehicle despite having nine previous drunken driving arrests and five DWI convictions.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in New Mexico confirmed Thursday that the Bellers settled their part of the lawsuit. Court documents were filed this week.

Terms of the settlement are confidential until they are approved by the Department of Justice.

The attorney representing the Bellers says neither he nor the family would make a statement until then.

Larry Beller and his wife, Rita, were returning to Norfolk from a vacation with longtime friends Edward and Alica Raemaekers when Larson crashed head-on into their car January 2002. All four Nebraskans were killed.