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Cokato man sentenced in crash that killed 3 generations of 1 family


A Cokato man will serve nearly five years in prison for his role in a 2012 crash that killed three generations in one family, KSTP-TV reports.

Paul Wickenhauser, 22, was sentenced in Kandiyohi County District Court to four years and 10 months in prison Friday. He pleaded guilty to felony criminal vehicular homicide with an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more last month in connection with the Aug. 17, 2012, crash near Willmar, which killed Marta Stoffers, 68, of Eden Prairie and her daughter-in-law, Michelle Hoffman, 44, of Atwater.

Hoffman's 8-year-old daughter, Julia, later died at Hennepin County Medical Center. The only survivor in the vehicle was Michelle Hoffman's 5-year-old son, Jason.

Court documents say that Wickenhauser, who was 21 at the time, admitted to drinking the night of the crash.

The West Central Tribune reports that while a preliminary breath test at the scene showed the man's blood-alcohol content was 0.07 percent -- an amount that falls under the legal limit of 0.08 percent -- a blood test later revealed his BAC to be 0.09 percent.

According to authorities, the man was driving his pick-up truck east on Highway 12 near Willmar when he crossed the center line and hit Stoffers' and the Hoffman's mini-van.

After the crash, the mini-van was sent into the ditch and caught on fire, officials said.

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