More than 200 people have died on Minnesota roads this year
WILLMAR -- The three people killed in a head-on collision Friday east of Willmar pushed the state's annual traffic fatality total over 200 people.
According to the state Department of Public Safety, 205 people have died on the road this year, one more than the same time period in 2011. Last year, 368 people were killed on the state's roadways, the lowest total since 1944.
The 2012 total includes four bicyclists, 29 motorcyclists and 18 pedestrians.
Marta Stoffers, 68, of Atwater, her daughter-in-law, Michelle Hoffman, 40, of Eden Prairie, and Hoffman's 8-year-old daughter Julia were killed in the crash east of Willmar along U.S. Highway 12. Another Hoffman child, Jason Hoffman, 5, was injured in the crash.
Paul Anthony Wickenhauser, 21, of Cokato faces four felony charges of criminal vehicular homicide and injury, plus a misdemeanor for open bottle, in Kandiyohi County District, for the crash.
According to the Department of Public Safety numbers, six people have died this year on Kandiyohi County roads, matching the annual total for 2011. Three people have died in both Chippewa and Pope counties, compared to three deaths in Chippewa County and one death in Pope County in 2011. One person has died on the roadways in both of Meeker and Renville counties. In 2011, seven people died in Meeker County and two died in Renville County.
No fatalities have been recorded thus far in 2012 in Yellow Medicine and Swift counties.