Family Walks Against Drunk Driving after Losing 3 Generations of Women

Updated: 06/07/2014 5:34 PM
Created: 06/07/2014 1:44 PM
By: Kate Renner

Nearly two years ago, a Minnesota family lost three generations of women in a split second.

On Aug. 17, 2012, a drunk driver crossed lanes, killing 68-year-old Marta Stoffers, her 40-year-old daughter-in-law Michelle Hoffman, and her 8-year-old granddaughter Julia.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving dedicated their walk at Phalen Park in St. Paul on Saturday to the trio.

"Every day there's not a moment I don't think of my three loved ones. A walk like this brings in peace of mind to see that we're not alone in this," said Greg Stoffers, late-husband of Marta Stoffers.

Paul Wickenhauser is currently serving four years in prison for criminal vehicular homicide. The Stoffers and Hoffman families have worked their way through a span of emotions, starting with blame and anger toward the man who drove drunk.

"There's anger, but anger doesn't do me any good or do anybody else any good. I'd rather take my anger and do something good with it so that's what we're trying to do," said Melissa Bodin.

So they move forward by reflecting on the good times.

"My grandma (Marta) was my number one supporter. My little cousin Julia she was wise beyond her years. She had such a love for family, creatures and life. And my aunt (Michelle) was like a sister to me," said Brandi Bodin.

Donations poured in after the tragic crash, building a legacy for the Stoffers and Hoffmans. 

"There's an orphanage in Uganda in honor of my mom, Michelle, and niece," said Melissa Bodin.

The family believes their deaths were more than just a senseless tragedy, they say it was caused by a selfish choice of someone to drink and drive.

"It's just a selfish act. You don't realize the impact you could have on hundreds of people by one decision that you make," said Taylor Bodin, grandson of Marta Stoffers.

Michelle's son, Jason, was also in the car the night of the crash. He has fully recovered. Jason, his siblings and his dad, Mike live in Oman, a country in the Middle East.

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