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Family, Friends Remember Kaitlyn Hansen

August 10, 2017 11:17 PM

(ABC 6 News) - In January 2016, a 16-year-old Fillmore Central High School student was killed on Highway 52 just south of Chatfield. The person responsible, 56-year-old Cindy Mueske admitted to causing her death.

Mueske, of Ashland, IL, was sentenced to 48 months in prison on Thursday. Her lawyer asked for probation and treatment; however, that was denied by the judge.

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“I am guilty of the most horrific thing that I could have ever imagined,” Mueske said in court. “My reckless behavior that day is inexcusable.” “Something good will come.” “I feel like she was one of my angels that night, I should have died.”

According to the Fillmore County prosecutor, Mueske was pulled over hours before the fatal crash in Clayton County, IA. Mueske passed a field sobriety test; however, a four pack of alcohol was found and one or two were empty. Mueske was cited for an open bottle, according to the prosecutor.

In court, Mueske talked about why she chose to drink and drive on that cold January night. “I won’t let my emotions get the best of me anymore,” Mueske said.

Also in the courtroom on Thursday, Kaitlyn’s family read victim impact statements.

“I wanted to see her grow up, that was taken away from her unfairly,” said Kaitlyn’s brother Justin. “She loved me every day.”

Her father, Kevin Hansen, looked Mueske in the eye and said, “You are a killer of a teenage girl.”

“I had to leave my daughter lying there in her car, I had to go home,” said her mother, Georgeanne Hansen. “She missed graduation and college.”

In May, Mueske pleaded guilty to criminal vehicular homicide while operating a vehicle under the influence. 16 other charges were dismissed as part of a plea deal.

The criminal complaint states the Minnesota State Patrol determined Mueske crossed the center line on Highway 52 near Chatfield, hitting a car being driven by 16-year-old Kaitlyn Hansen head-on.

The complaint states a witness told law enforcement prior to the crash, Mueske was driving aggressively and tried to pass his car three times before finally doing so in a no passing zone.

Crash reconstruction estimates Mueske was driving at 94 mph half a second before the crash, and if she had applied her breaks, she would have hit Hansen at speeds between 81-84 mph.

Mueske was thrown from her truck and taken to the hospital where court documents say a retrograde extrapolation determined her blood alcohol concentration at the time of the crash was between .080 and .151, and marijuana was also found in her system.

Hansen was declared dead at the scene.

Kevin Hansen says his daughter gave strangers the greatest gift of all, life.

"When she got her driver’s license, she came home and she was proud to have the driver’s license but she was more proud to be an organ donor," said Kevin.

Kaitlyn saved the life of a 5-month-old baby girl and a 7-year-old boy. She also donated her heart valves and her bone marrow.


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