Reporting John Lauritsen
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