Starbuck man pleads to charges in drunken driving crash that killed coach's baby
GLENWOOD, Minn. -- A Starbuck man pleaded guilty Tuesday to vehicular homicide charges stemming from a head-on collision in Pope County that killed a 5-month-old boy.
Dana Allen Schoen, 38, pleaded guilty to three counts of criminal vehicular homicide or operation for causing the July 28 motor vehicle crash. According to the Minnesota State Patrol and the complaint, a preliminary breath test, showed Schoen blood alcohol content of 0.351 percent, more than four times the legal limit.
The pleas were entered in Pope County District Court. Schoen will be sentenced Jan. 25 by District Judge Charles Glasrud.
The crash that killed Drake Bigler also injured the boy's parents and great-grandmother. The boy's father, Brad Bigler, is the men's basketball coach at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall.
Heather Bigler was driving a GMC Acadia in the head-on collision with a Dodge pickup driven by Schoen near the intersection of Minnesota Highway 29 and Pope County Road 41.
Drake Bigler was pronounced dead at Glacial Ridge Hospital in Glenwood.
Documents show Brad Bigler, and another passenger, Heather's grandmother, Sharon Schuler, 74, of Granite Falls, were transported to Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, S.D., for treatment of their injuries. Heather Bigler suffered minor injuries.
According to the complaint, a responding Minnesota State Patrol trooper noted that the entire passenger side of the sport utility vehicle carrying the Bigler family was sheared off and lying in the ditch several feet away. A man who came upon the crash found the infant still buckled into his car seat, which was dangling from the side of the SUV. The man unbuckled the car seat and stabilized the child's head.
The trooper noticed that Schoen exhibited signs of alcohol consumption, including that his speech was slurred and he was swaying. He told the trooper he was going to "flunk" the preliminary breath test, which showed a blood alcohol content of 0.351 percent. He was arrested and was later taken to the hospital for a blood draw for analysis by the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.