A Cokato man was charged Monday in connection with a Friday crash that killed three people, including a nine-year-old child, and injured another child.
Paul Wickenhauser, 21, faces three counts of criminal vehicular homicide and one count of criminal vehicular injury for his role in the head-on crash, which happened around 9 p.m. on U.S. Highway 12 in Kandiyohi County.
Wickenhauser told police at the scene he had been drinking and still had a bottle of rum inside the car. Officers found the broken bottle of alcohol inside the cab of Wickenhauser's pickup truck, but the BAC test found he was just barely under the legal limit at the time of the crash.
The crash killed 68-year-old Marta Stoffers of Atwater, her daughter-in-law, 40-year-old Michelle Hoffman of Eden Prairie, and Hoffman's 8-year-old daughter, Julia. The other child was not fatally wounded.
Wickenhauser will make his first court appearance on Tuesday in Kandiyohi County, and prosecutors said even though the legal limit is .08, you can still be "under the influence" at any point under that number.
Funerals for the victims have been set. Stoffers will be remembered on Thursday in Atwater, where she lived. Michelle and Julia Hoffman will be remembered on Friday at Grace Church in Eden Prairie, and 5-year-old Jason Hoffman could be out of the hospital by then.