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.

Next Up


Pair escape uninjured as plane crashes moments after takeoff

It crashed about a half mile southwest of Faribault Airport.

Screen Shot 2021-04-22 at 4.12.50 PM

For The Week: Making cocktails at home? Here's how to do it right

Lindsay Guentzel's For The Week column features simple food and drink tips.

coronavirus, covid-19

Mayo Clinic study provides 'best guess' about pandemic's future in MN

Minnesota could be seeing decreasing numbers into the summer if the study is correct.

daunte wright funeral - siblings

Mourners remember Daunte Wright, plead for justice

Wright was killed by a now-former Brooklyn Center police officer on April 11.


HealthPartners: COVID hospitalizations driven by unvaccinated, middle aged adults

The health provider says the average age of its hospitalized patients is trending downwards.

Andrew Thomas booking photo

Man suspected of shooting at National Guard in Minneapolis faces more charges

He has now been charged in Hennepin County District Court with more serious crimes.


Investigation finds EPA mishandled oversight for PolyMet mine permits

A new report found the EPA didn't follow its own procedures when it submitted comments on the proposed project.


MDH's new COVID guidance urges weekly testing for those involved in sports

Those not involved in school sports are still advised to get tested every two weeks.

Trey Lance

With loaded QB draft class, now is the time for Vikings to act

With a strong class, this year might be the time to select Kirk Cousins' successor.