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Driver In Fatal Drunk Driving Crash Ordered To Pay $37K

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(credit: Kandiyohi County)

(credit: Kandiyohi County)

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Cokato man has been ordered to pay more than $37,000 after drunkenly causing a car crash that killed three generations of a family last year in Kandiyohi County.

Paul Wickenhauser was previously sentenced to serve 67 months in prison – about 5 1/2 years – after pleading guilty to three counts of criminal vehicular homicide. A judge ordered him to pay restitution in the amount of $37,366.96 to the surviving family members on Dec. 10.

The victims’ families helped agree upon the length of the sentence, which occurred Aug. 9.

According to the complaint, Wickenhauser, who was 21 at the time of the August 2012 incident, had drank “five 12 oz. beers” before his vehicle crossed the centerline of Highway 12, east of Willmar, and crashed head-on with another car.

Michelle Hoffman, 40, her 8-year-old daughter Julia and her mother-in-law, 68-year-old Marta Stoffers, died. Hoffman’s 5-year-old son Jason was seriously injured, after the vehicle went into the ditch and caught on fire.

Police said there was a broken alcohol container on the roadway, and a bottle of rum in the cab of Wickenhauser’s pickup. A cooler with a case of beer in the cargo area of the pickup was also found by police, and Wickenhauser vomited several times in front of police after the crash, according to the complaint.

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