Drunk Snowmobiler Sentenced for Killing Minnesota Child
Center City, MN (KROC-AM News) - A Minnesota man has been sentenced to 12 ½ years in prison for killing a child in a snowmobile crash that resulted in a change to the state’s drunk driving laws.
46-year-old Eric Coleman was convicted of third-degree murder and multiple counts of criminal vehicular homicide in connection with the death of 8-year-old Alan Geisenkoetter Jr. in January of last year. Coleman’s blood-alcohol-concentration was tested at .165, which is over twice the legal limit for driving, after the snowmobile he was operating struck and fatally injured the child while he was ice fishing with his father on a lake in Chisago County. The father and Coleman were also injured in the crash. In addition to the prison time, Coleman was also ordered to pay about $3,500 in restitution.
The tragic incident prompted Minnesota lawmakers to approve a new drunk driving statute known as “Little Alan’s Law.” Even though Coleman could not legally drive a car because of previous drunk driving offenses, there was nothing in the old law to prevent him from operating a snowmobile or other off-road vehicle. The updated law, which went into effect last August, makes it unlawful for a person with a revoked or suspended driver’s license to drive off-road vehicles.