A Chisago County grand jury has indicted a Chisago City man on charges of third-degree murder and criminal vehicular homicide after he drove his snowmobile through a family’s ice fishing shack Jan. 26 and hit an 8-year-old boy, who later died.
Eric J. Coleman, 45, also faces charges of criminal vehicular operation and drunken driving in connection with the incident, which claimed the life of Alan Geisenkoetter Jr., who lived for five days before dying of his injuries.
The third-degree murder charge carries a recommended sentence of 12½ years in prison. Coleman’s blood alcohol level was allegedly .165 three hours after the crash, more than twice the legal limit for driving.
At the time Coleman hit the boy, he was already facing charges from a late 2017 incident in which he allegedly crashed his pickup truck into another vehicle and injured the driver. His blood alcohol level at that time was alleged to have been .304. That crash led state authorities to revoke his driver’s license. Coleman’s vehicle also had an ignition-locking system meant to prevent him from driving after drinking, according to court documents.
The Geisenkoetter family was setting up their ice fishing house on the north end of Chisago Lake about 8 p.m. Jan. 26 when they said they could hear Coleman’s snowmobile rapidly approaching. Thinking it would pass nearby, Alan Jr. stepped away from his mother to get a better look, according to Eleanor Geisenkoetter, his mother. She said the snowmobile was going so fast that by the time she could yell at her son to get out of the way, it was too late.
Coleman’s snowmobile also struck Alan’s father, Alan Geisenkoetter Sr. He has since recovered from his injuries.
Matt McKinney • 612-217-1747