1 Killed, 2 Survive In Alcohol-Related Crash

ROCHESTER, Minn. (WCCO) — A 20-year-old Rochester man is dead after a one-vehicle rollover on Highway 63 in Wabasha County Monday night.

Just after 7 p.m., the car Garrett Steiger was riding in with two other men, lost control and rolled into a ditch three miles south of Zumbro Falls.

Steiger, who wasn’t driving, died on scene. He was not wearing his seat belt.

The Minnesota State Patrol said alcohol was a factor in the crash and, at this time, neither of the two survivors is admitting to being the driver of the vehicle. The two are also underage.

“Of the two survivors, both had been drinking. Once we identify the driver, regardless of who that is, alcohol is a factor,” said Lt. Eric Roeske of the State Patrol.

According to the State Patrol, in cases like this happen from time to time where it’s unknown who was driving. Investigators are often able to match injuries with seat belt marks, or blood DNA, to figure out who the driver was.

The State Patrol says it does have a good idea of who was behind the wheel.

One of the survivors was wearing a seatbelt, the other was not.

“The bottom line is it’s another example of how alcohol and lack of seat belt use leads to another life lost,” said Roeske.

Tom Giordano coached Steiger when he qualified for state three times at Rochester John Marshall High School, and came within two wins of tying the school record.

“Very humble kid and a very good wrestler,” said Giordano.

Last night, however, Giordano got word that the easygoing kid he used to coach was killed in a car crash.

“Unfortunately, especially on the Fourth of July, to have friends and family know that this was the time he had a car accident that resulted in his tragic death. It’s sad,” said Giordano.

Steiger graduated from John Marshall two years ago and was also an avid skateboarder.

A fund has been set up by Steiger’s family in his memory. Donations can be sent to the following address:

First Alliance Credit Union
320 Alliance Place NE
Rochester, MN, 55904 in c/o Garrett Steiger family

More from John Lauritsen
  • Kyle

    The only news today seems to be death(s) and crime and abuse were alcohol is a factor …. SURPRISE….. imagine that … alcohol involved in every one. my goodness – alcohol is such a wonderful drug now, isn’t it !
    I’m about to hear to Karma to get my day going … wanna come along?

    • ForgetYou

      The article doesn’t say the person who died was driving or drunk, so how is that karma? Go fellate the business end of a shotgun.

      • Just saying

        If he wasn’t drunk, then why wasn’t he the one driving????

  • ForgetYou

    A good friend of mine is dead, a mother lost her son, and a family is grieving. Kyle up there thinks this is a good thing somehow. What I’m saying is Kyle, whoever he is, is a sociopath with no sense of empathy, and should probably refrain from commenting on anything ever.

    • Del

      Empathy for drunks who drive and lie? At least they didn’t kill an innocent motorist.

      • Beer Guzzling Redneck

        Empathy for the ones burying a loved one who didn’t drive or lie.

        A reasonably intelligent person would have been able to figure that out from context, Del. That makes you not reasonably intelligent.

    • markH

      I think Kyle is simply pointing out the glaring fact that alcohol abuse is the leading cause of death and misery, yet there isn’t an outcry over the needless pain and killing.

  • Rob

    I don’t believe Garrett was driving have some respect for his mother and family.

    • What a joke

      Well maybe he should not of got in a car with someone who was drinking!!

  • Doesn't Pay to Drink & Drive

    I am very sorry this tragic accident happened. However, it goes to show you that if you drink & drive or ride with someone who has drank & is going to drive, you have to respect the consequences. In this case, the consequence was death & now neither of his friends are stepping up to take responsibility. That is NOT SHOWING RESPECT to their friend.

    BTW: Karma is a night club in Minneapolis where in the last month, there have been reported shootings with injuries.

  • Doesn't Pay to Drink & Drive

    I have empathy for the family, I don’t have empathy for those that drive drunk & kill people. BTW: I speak from experience.

  • tom

    driving and drinking, seems the only way to stop people from doing this ,is when we read about who they kill or how they died. Seems to me that the answer to stop this is to stop bars from letting people leave their bar drunk , getting into a car and killing themselves. What if we put test in bars , that if you fail you don’t get your keys back. You would have to surrender your keys in order to drink. i was almost killed in 85 from a drunk driver, cost me 3 years of pain and rehab to walk again. To me drinking and driving is way more harmful than any other thing people do. Change the LAWS to reflect people drinking, to reflect people being responsible after they drink.

    • Beer Guzzling Redneck

      “Seems to me that the answer to stop this is to stop bars from letting people leave their bar drunk”

      It seems to me that none of these UNDERAGED young men were in a bar, Tom.

      So it seems to me that your “answer” really isn’t an answer at all.

  • Ali

    Not to worry, the most anyone can get is 4 years and out in 2,5. The laws are a big joke for drunk driving when someone gets killed.

  • Robert

    Has anyone heard of the group RDAD, “Responsible Drinking And Driving” also know as “R Dad”?
    They seem to be a counter group to MADD. They argue that some people have acceptable reaction time even when at the legal limit (faster then some older drivers) so everyone should be tested by reaction time and
    not a breath test. In their ad, a kid says, “It’s not fair that “R Dad” goes to jail when he is a better drive than others on the road.”.

  • Gary

    Wear. your. seat. belt.

  • Otto

    Where is the outcry for the adult/s or establishment who provided the alcohol to these kids. We will keep hearing these kinds of stories until society takes seriously how alcohol can kill and stop letting it get into the hands of our youth

  • Chris

    Garrett was a good man who always boosted the spirits of the people around him. He was hard working and loved life. Anyone who knew him would have been proud to be his friend. He was 20 years old, and made two bad decisions. One was to ride with a friend who was drinking, and the other was to not wear his seat belt. Are these reasons to justify his death? NO! Anyone who believes it is should be laying in his place. It’s real easy to sit and judge someone and talk trash about them when you are hiding behind a fake screen name. Many people out there have been in a similar situation and made similar choices, without incident, so it seemed OK. Everyone makes bad decisions, and judging from the comments posted on here, we should all be dead because of them. At any rate, have some respect for the families of Garrett and the other young men. The families didn’t make the choices but they are suffering the consequences. Garrett was a good YOUNG man who didn’t deserve to die…. anyone who thinks differently come see me… I work where Garrett worked.

    • ann

      Well said. Some people just have no common sense. Garrett seemed awesome and I’m sorry you lost him. I pray God grants his family and friends peace. My son is my life and this is my worst nightmare.

  • sarah zrucky

    Well said Chris. A mother and father lost a son. Have some respect people.

  • Kathy

    Very well said, Chris. Thank you. It is a tragedy, regardless of the mistakes. I hope teens and adults will learn from these incidents. It could happen to you.


    Chris is right, Garrett was a good young man, i met Garrett when i moved into a friend’s house, i even kno his younger brother, how can you people just make judgements like that? a family lost their son, if you so much wanna say something atleast show sympathy for the family who lost their son, they are suffering, everyone makes mistakes or bad choices, no one is perfect, you cant say you dont make mistakes or bad choices here and there, Garrett Steiger ima miss you mann, live it up in paradise, once a Rocket, always a Rocket, RIP Garrett

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