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MN man due in court on charges in fatal car-surfing death

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BURNETT COUNTY, WI (WTAQ) - A 21-year-old man is scheduled to make his first court appearance December 19th in a car-surfing death in northwest Wisconsin.

Cole Fohrenkamm of St. Paul faces three felony charges and two traffic counts in the death of 21-year-old Shawn Swanson, also of St. Paul.

The incident happened August 11th on a rural road in Burnett County. Prosecutors said several people were riding in a vehicle when they stopped – Swanson and another man climbed on the outside – and then Fohrenkamm drove up to 40 miles an hour and weaved back and forth see if the two could stay aboard.

Swanson fell and hit the back of his head – and officials said the group drove him to a casino in nearby Danbury to get help.

Fohrenkamm allegedly had a blood alcohol level of 0.116 – almost one-and-a-half times the minimum level of intoxication. Authorities said the driver also had the main ingredient of marijuana in his system at the time.

Fohrenkamm was just recently charged with 3 felony counts of drunk and negligent driving, and reckless endangerment – plus traffic counts of reckless driving, and driving a person who was riding illegally.

Media reports say car-surfing has become more common as more young people see it on social media and YouTube. In 2008, a teen was killed in Sussex in southeast Wisconsin while riding on the hood of a car that slammed into a tree. 

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