ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The parents of a young Wyoming boy killed by a snowmobiler on a Minnesota lake want lawmakers in the Midwest state to review laws for operating the vehicles.
Ellie and Alan Geisenkoetter Sr. want to know why the driver who struck their son on Chisago Lake was allowed to operate the snowmobile even though his driver’s license was revoked, KSTP-TV reported .
Eight-year-old Alan Geisenkoetter Jr. died Wednesday.
“How could it have come to this,” Alan Geisenkoetter Sr. said. “What failed? I mean, there is a failure somewhere that allowed for this to happen.”
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Eric Coleman was arrested and charged in connection with the crash. The 45-year-old told authorities he was drinking before the crash and that his driver license is revoked, according to court documents.
Minnesota law doesn’t require a valid driver’s license to operate a snowmobile. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources only requires a safety training course and registration fees to operate a snowmobile.
“I think the laws in Minnesota should be harsher than they are,” Ellie Geisenkoetter said. “There’s no reason he should’ve been on a motor vehicle.”
Lawmakers are open to reviewing the law to prevent others from getting behind the wheel of a motorized vehicle while intoxicated, said Rep. Dan Fabian, R-Roseau. Fabian chairs the House Environment and Natural Resources Committee, which has jurisdiction over DNR issues.
“Our hearts break for Alan Jr. and his loved ones — this is a tragedy no family should have to endure,” Fabian said. “Minnesota has strong laws in place outlining consequences for driving a snowmobile under the influence and we hope the man responsible is prosecuted to the fullest extent possible.”
Information from: KSTP-TV, http://www.kstp.com