The Renville County Attorney's office filed charges today against a Willmar woman in connection with the death of her four-month-old second cousin at a campground in Renville on Sunday.
Prosecutors said that Nicolle Marie Mercedes Prechel was camping with the infant and other family members when she backed her van into their tent while intoxicated. Wyatt Sander, of Redwood Falls, was killed, and his mother, 21-year-old Sheena Hinshaw, was injured.
Prechel, 31, faces two charges of criminal vehicular homicide in the death of the infant. According to the criminal complaint, Prechel's blood alcohol level was 0.17, more than twice the legal limit.
The complaint said the Prechel drove the van from the camping area to take her 7-year-old daughter to the bathroom, and when she returned she backed over the tent. The van dragged the boy and his mother over fourteen feet until the vehicle struck a pole.
Sander's parents took their son to a local hospital, where medical staff pronounced him dead. The boy's mother had abrasions and contusions, including what appeared to be treadmarks on her skin.
If convicted, Prechel could receive a maximum sentence of about 24 years in prison and up to $53,000 in fines. She is scheduled to appear in court today.