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Charges expected today in death of 4-month-old boy

Nicolle Prechel of Redwood County has been arrested in the Renville County pending charges of driving while intoxicated and criminal vehicular homicide. Prechel allegedly backed over and through a tent fatally injuring an infant and injuring the infant's mother.

OLIVIA -- Charges are expected to be filed today against a 31-year-old woman suspected of being drunk as she drove a van over a tent at a Renville County campground Sunday, killing a 4-month-old baby boy and injuring his mother.

Nicolle Prechel, who lives in Redwood Falls but had lived in Willmar and Kandiyohi in recent years, is being held in the Renville County Jail in Olivia on charges of vehicular homicide, third degree driving while intoxicated and driving with a suspended license.

Assistant County Attorney Glen Jacobsen said it is "highly likely" that additional charges will be filed. Prechel is scheduled to make her first court appearance at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Renville County Courthouse in Olivia.

Wyatt Sander, the 4-month-old son of Sheena Hinshaw, 21, and Jacob Sander, 27, of Redwood Falls, died following the 8:20 a.m. incident.

Hinshaw was taken to Redwood Falls Area Hospital where she is listed in stable condition. Jacob Sander was not injured. According to preliminary reports from the Renville County Sheriff's office, Prechel was attempting to back a van into a parking spot at the Beaver Falls Campground near Morton when she drove over -- and through -- the tent, dragging the mother and child under the vehicle.

Wyatt Sander was taken to Redwood Falls Area Hospital, where he pronounced dead.

Jacobsen said he received a nine-page report Monday from the sheriff's department and would be reviewing that information before drawing up the formal complaint.

The sheriff's department said it's expected the complaint would be filed before noon today.

Jacobsen said Prechel didn't have a criminal history in Renville County.

Records show, however, that she had been charged with felony theft and drug charges in Kandiyohi County in the last five years.

In 2004, when she lived in Kandiyohi, she was convicted on a felony charge of fifth-degree possession of drugs and was sentenced to 90 days in the county jail.

In 2005, she was charged with two felony theft charges as well as misdemeanor charges of receiving stolen property and tampering with a motor vehicle. She pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of receiving stolen property and was sentenced to 38 days in jail. The remaining charges were dismissed.

In 2008, when she listed Willmar as her address, Prechel was sentenced in Renville County on a traffic charge of driving after suspension.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

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