An Otsego man has been charged after he allegedly drove an ATV drunk and crashed, killing a 12-year-old passenger.
Austin Mehlhoff Copsey, 37, has been charged with one count of criminal vehicular homicide in the July 16 crash that killed Jesse Hooper.
A GoFundMe for Hooper's father, mother and 15-year-old brother has raised more than $25,000 to help cover funeral expenses. According to the Elk River Fire Department, Hooper's father is a firefighter at the department.
"Please keep the Hooper family, Elk River Fire Department, and any others affected by this loss in your thoughts and prayers in the days, weeks, and months ahead," the fire department wrote in a Facebook post.
Hooper is described in the GoFundMe as a "unique, charismatic, curious young man" who "had a presence that was bigger than he ever knew."
According to the criminal complaint, police responded to a crash involving an ATV on the 14000 block of 78th Street NE in Otsego just after 10 p.m. on Saturday, July 16.
Wright County deputies found a Polaris ATV in a ditch, near broken mailboxes. An investigation revealed that Copsey crashed the ATV into several mailboxes on a single post cemented into the ground, with the ATV then rolling "multiple times" into a ditch.
Hooper was found in the ditch with critical injuries and died at the scene.
Copsey had a visible wound on his head and was treated at the scene. Authorities also noted that Copsey's "speech was slurred, and a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage was coming from his breath."
He admitted that he had been drinking prior to the crash, telling deputies that he and Hooper were on their way to pick up his daughter and bring her to a neighborhood party.
After submitting to take a preliminary breath test, Copsey's blood-alcohol content was at 0.19 — over twice the legal limit in Minnesota.
Copsey will make his initial court appearance on Aug. 5.