3 dead after Friday night crash in Kandiyohi County - My29 WFTC Minneapolis-St. Paul

3 dead after Friday night crash in Kandiyohi County

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KANDIYOHI COUNTY, Minn -

The Minnesota State Patrol has confirmed three people died after a head-on crash in Kandiyohi County on Friday night.

Investigators say 21-year-old Paul Wickenhauser, of Norwood, was driving a pickup truck when he crossed the center line and struck a minivan driven by Marta Stoffers, 68, of Atwater,  East of County Road 127 on Highway 12.

Stoffers' minivan careened into a ditch and caught on fire following the collision.

All but one of the occupants in Stoffers' car were killed in the crash, including Stoffers herself. Police say the driver's daughter in law and her daughter -- identified as 40-year-old Michelle Hoffman and 8-year-old Julia Hoffman, both of Eden Prairie -- were also killed.

The sole survivor, 5-year-old Jason Hoffman, also from Eden Prairie, is currently at HCMC in critical condition.

Though the family calls Eden Prairie home, the Hoffmans had spent the past two years working in the American International School of Muscat in Oman, a country in the Middle East that borders Saudi Arabia.

The Hoffmans had come back to Minnesota to visit family and friends over the summer, but they had planned to leave for a third year of school next week.

Mike Hoffman and the family's two older children gathered at HCMC to look over Jason as they tried to cope with losing three family members from three generations.

Family friends told FOX 9 News the Hoffmans are loving and giving people, and they were distraught to learn state troopers believed alcohol was a factor in the crash.

Wickenhauser was taken to the hospital after the crash, and investigators took a blood sample after troopers at the scene smelled alcohol on him and found an open container in his vehicle.

It is likely that Wickenhauser, whose record includes an underage drinking charge in 2009, will stay in jail until he is charged on Monday.

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