WCCO EYE4 LOGO WCCO Radio wcco-eye-white01, ww color white

Local

Man Charged With 3 Counts Of Criminal Vehicular Homicide

View Comments
(credit: Kandiyohi County)

(credit: Kandiyohi County)

Get Breaking News First

Receive News, Politics, and Entertainment Headlines Each Morning.
Sign Up
Today's Most Popular Video
  1. 4 Things To Know For July 28
  2. Lightning Strike At Venice Beach Kills 1, Injures Others
  3. New Zip Line Debuts At Mall Of America
  4. Who's That In The Stands During 'Little Big League'?
  5. Get Movin' Monday: How To Slow Down Our Busy Lives

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 21-year-old man from Cokato, Minn. was charged with criminal vehicular homicide Monday, in connection with a weekend crash that killed three generations of a family.

According to the criminal charges, Paul Wickenhauser told police he started drinking around 5 p.m. on the night of the crash. He said he had about five 12 oz. beers until about 7:15 p.m. A preliminary breath test gave a reading of .07.

Michelle Hoffman, 40, her 8-year-old daughter Julia and her mother-in-law, 68-year-old Marta Stoffers, died in the crash last Friday night near Willmar. Hoffman’s 5-year-old son, Jason, was seriously injured but is expected to recover from his injuries.

Wickenhauser is also being charged with one count of criminal vehicle injury.

Police say the crash happened around 9 p.m. Friday. Wickenhauser was driving, crossed the centerline of Highway 12 east of Willmar and crashed head-on into the Stoffers’ vehicle. The Stoffers’ vehicle went into the ditch and caught on fire.

Officers noted there was an odor of alcohol on Wickenhauser’s breath and that his eyes were bloodshot. Police say there was a broken alcohol container on the roadway and a bottle of rum in the cab of the pickup. He’s also been charged with one count of possession of an open bottle.

A cooler with a case of beer in the cargo area of the pickup was also spotted by police. Officers noted that Wickenhauser vomited several times while waiting for transportation to the law enforcement office.

The Hoffman family is from Eden Prairie, but they were living in Oman where Michelle and her husband, Michael, taught English. Friends close to the family told WCCO-TV they were there visiting and about to return overseas to teach for one more year.

Wickenhauser will make his first court appearance at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

View Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus