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Arrangements pending for Atwater, Minn., woman killed Friday

KANDIYOHI -- Funeral arrangements are pending for an Atwater woman killed Friday night in a head-on crash on U.S. Highway 12 west of Kandiyohi, along with her daughter-in-law and granddaughter. The woman's grandson is in critical condition.

Alcohol is believed to be a factor, and the other driver has been jailed.

The Minnesota State Patrol report says Marta G. Stoffers, 68, of Atwater, was driving the minivan that was struck head-on. She was killed along with her daughter-in-law, 40-year-old Michelle L. Hoffman, of Eden Prairie, who was a passenger in the van. Two of Hoffman's children also were in the van. Eight-year-old Julia G. Hoffman died. Five-year-old Jason W. Hoffman was in critical condition at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis.

The Minnesota State Patrol report says alcohol was detected in Paul A. Wickenhauser, 21, of Norwood. He is being held in the Kandiyohi County Jail pending charges of criminal vehicular homicide or operation, failure to keep to the right and open bottle, according to the jail's online custody list.

The State Patrol says Wickenhauser was the driver of a 2004 Chevy Silverado pickup that was traveling westbound on Highway 12. The pickup crashed head-on with the 2001 Chrysler Town and Country van traveling east. The crash, east of the intersection with Kandiyohi County Road 127, caused the van to enter the north ditch of the highway and then burn.

Wickenhauser was treated and released from Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar.

The Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office assisted at the scene Friday night.

Peterson Brothers Atwater Funeral Home announced today that arrangements are pending for Stoffers.

Susan Lunneborg
Susan Lunneborg is news editor of the West Central Tribune. She joined the staff in Willmar in 1999 and has been a newspaper journalist for more than 20 years. She can be reached directly at the email linked here, but for the most timely response, please send news releases to the Tribune's general news email:
(320) 235-1150