A third Rice County ATV crash in two months could have a Faribault man facing charges for drunken driving.

Rice County Sheriff's deputies responded to the Sunday crash at about 6:40 p.m. in Morristown. According to a release from the Sheriff's Office, Jonathan J. Wunderlich, 51, of Faribault, was traveling eastbound on Bloomer Street near Second Street NW when he lost control, went off the roadway and rolled the ATV.

Wunderlich was airlifted to St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester. His passenger, a 4-year-old boy, received minor injuries in the crash and was taken by his family to a nearby hospital.

Sheriff Troy Dunn on Tuesday said that Wunderlich had been drinking and that alcohol is believed to be a factor in the crash. Once the investigation is complete, Dunn said, the case will be turned over to the Rice County Attorney's Office for possible charges.

In Minnesota, drunken driving laws apply to all motor vehicles, including boats, snowmobiles and ATVs. In 2018, changes to state laws tied all drunken driving convictions — including those while operating boats, all-terrain vehicles, jet skis and snowmobiles — to an individual's driver's license. 

State laws also require helmets for anyone driving or riding an ATV. Neither Wunderlich or his passenger were helmeted, said Dunn.

Last week, a Faribault teenager was seriously injured after the ATV he was driving collided with a vehicle near Hunt Club Trail. The driver, 14-year-old Rocco T. Strouth, was wearing a helmet, Dunn said, but it wasn't secured and flew off on impact. Strouth was airlifted to a metro hospital, but has since been released.

On July 8, ATV driver David Otto Schultz, 48, of Faribault, reportedly drove into a Wheeling Township ditch and rolled. Investigators believe he was ejected and pinned underneath the ATV.

Also responding to Thursday's scene were the Kilkenny Fire/Rescue and North Ambulance.

North Ambulance and Morristown Fire & Rescue assisted deputies on the scene.

Reach Regional Managing Editor Suzanne Rook at 507-333-3134. Follow her on Twitter @rooksuzy. ©Copyright 2020 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved. 


Load comments