A 37-year-old Otsego man was allegedly drunk when he crashed an ATV after leaving a weekend neighborhood party, killing his 12-year-old passenger, authorities say.
Austin M. Copsey was charged in Wright County District Court with criminal vehicular homicide in connection with the rollover wreck that killed Jesse Hooper of Otsego.
A preliminary breath test taken soon after the crash found Copsey had a blood alcohol content of 0.19%, more than twice the legal limit for driving in Minnesota, according to the criminal complaint.
He appeared in court Tuesday and will return for another hearing Aug. 5. His attorney, Dwight Sherwood McKinnis, declined to comment Thursday about the allegations.
Sheriff's deputies said they found Copsey's side-by-side ATV in a ditch in the 14100 block of NE. 78th Street shortly after 10 p.m. Saturday. Several mailboxes "were scattered around the crash scene," the complaint read.
A witness, who said he heard the crash, said video from his security camera showed the ATV rolling over several times.
Emergency responders declared the 12-year-old dead at the scene.
Deputies said Copsey's speech was slurred and he acknowledged that he had been drinking, according to the complaint.
Copsey had left the party to pick up his daughter and return to the gathering, authorities say.
Copsey's criminal history in Minnesota includes convictions for drunken driving, drug possession and operating a motorcycle with insufficient lights, according to court records.
Funeral services for Jesse Hooper are scheduled for 4 p.m. Friday at Grace Fellowship Church in Brooklyn Park. Survivors include his father, Elk River firefighter Tony Hooper, mother Kristi and brother Luke.
"It is with very heavy hearts that we share the news of a tragic loss within our fire department family," read a posting on the Elk River Fire Department's Facebook page. "We ask that you give the family privacy as they grieve this tremendous loss."
Jesse's online obituary said "[H]e was happy to join you alongside what you were doing and quick to offer his help. In short time, he became the neighborhood fix-it kid."
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations in Jesse's honor to Northwest Metro Robotics.