MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) A jury has found Eric Coleman guilty in the snowmobiling crash that led to the death of an 8-year-old boy early this year.
Eric Coleman, 45, of Chisago City, admitted to authorities that he had been drinking before the crash. Prosecutors say Coleman’s blood-alcohol level was measured at .165 three hours after the crash. That is more than twice the legal limit.
He was charged with third-degree murder and two counts of criminal vehicular homicide, all felonies, in connection with the Jan. 26 incident. He was also found guilty of four gross misdemeanor charges of criminal vehicular operation and driving while intoxicated.
A witness told police that her son, Alan Geisenkoetter Jr., was setting up a portable ice house with his father when Coleman slammed into the back of their pickup truck and struck the child, dragging him over the frozen lake’s surface.
Coleman also plowed through the family’s ice house and struck the boy’s father.
Geisenkoetter’s death motivated lawmakers to close loopholes in the state’s DWI laws. Lawmakers pushed to revise Minnesota’s law, closing a loophole that let people keep their off-road driving privileges, even if they got a DWI in a motor vehicle. Little Alan’s Law provides more consistent application of DWI laws, regardless of what type of vehicle is being driven.
Sentencing for Coleman will be Feb. 7, 2019.