Cokato Man Accused in Deadly Triple Crash Appears in Court
The Cokato man charged in a deadly crash that killed three generations of family was released from jail Tuesday.
Paul Wickenhauser, 21, made his first court appearance in Kandiyohi County. He's charged with four counts of Criminal Vehicular Homicide or Operation and one count of possessing an open bottle.
Wickenhauser was released from jail on bail of $50,000. As part of his release he will not be allowed to enter bars or liquor stores, and he has an electronic alcohol monitoring system.
According to court documents, Wickenhauser admitted to police he was drinking the night of the crash.
The State Patrol says Wickenhauser was driving a pickup truck east on Highway 12 near Willmar when he crossed the center line and hit a minivan head on just after 9 p.m. Friday. The minivan went into the ditch and caught on fire.
Five-year-old Jason Hoffman was the only survivor of the crash. He is in good condition, and is expected to be released from the hospital in several days. His mom, sister, and grandmother were all killed.
Forty-year-old Michelle Hoffman of Eden Prairie and her 68-year-old mother-in-law Marta Stoffers of Atwater died at the scene. Hoffman's 8-year-old daughter, Julia, was pronounced dead at Hennepin County Medical Center.
Wickenhauser's next court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 19.