A 12-year-old boy struck by a car as he crossed a busy highway Sunday night in Elk River has died, the State Patrol and family members said.
Ian Kniseley was crossing Hwy. 169 at Main Street just after 9 p.m. when he was hit by a northbound Ford Focus. The driver, Christopher Tatu, 36, of Osseo, was not hurt and stopped at the scene, the patrol said.
Kniseley suffered extensive brain injuries and was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis after the crash. On Monday, he was removed from life support and died, according to a post on the boy’s YouCaring page.
“My family is facing unspeakable tragedy,” wrote cousin Charlotte Love, who is organizing the fundraiser to help Ian’s family with medical and funeral expenses. “No parent or grandparent should ever have to experience this kind of loss.”
Donations were beginning to roll in as news spread through the city northwest of the Twin Cities.
Kniseley was a seventh-grader at Vandenberge Middle School in Elk River where a crisis team of counselors was available for students on Tuesday, said Principal Marcia Welch.
Kniseley also played on teams sponsored by the Elk River Lacrosse Association, most recently in 2016.
“It is with deep sympathy that we share our condolences from within our lacrosse family in the recent passing of Ian Kniseley,” read a statement posted on the association’s Facebook page.
Lt. Tiffani Nielson said investigators are still trying to piece together the sequence of events.
Preliminary reports show that Kniseley stepped out onto the highway in front of a northbound vehicle that had a green light. The driver was in the left lane and going the speed limit when he hit Kniseley, witnesses told investigators, Nielson said.
The driver “had the right of way,” Nielson said. “We are unsure if the boy looked before he crossed.”
The tragedy underscores why pedestrians should wait for signals and cross roads in crosswalks, she said.
“It’s difficult for juveniles to gauge the speed of traffic, especially at higher speeds,” Nielson said. “It’s hard for adults, too, especially at night.”
Tatu stopped and has been cooperative, Nielson said. There was no sign of impairment.