A Minneapolis woman riding a bike was struck and killed in a hit-and-run early Saturday morning in south Minneapolis, and the driver was soon caught by police who suspected he was drunk.
The woman was identified as Elyse Mary Stern, 28.
Police were called about 2:15 a.m. on a report of someone severely injured in a crash near the intersection of E. Lake Street and Cedar Avenue S.
When police and paramedics arrived, they found Stern, who had been fatally injured. The vehicle that struck the cyclist had left the scene, police said.
Police Sgt. William Palmer said Stern wasn’t wearing a helmet and had no lights on her bicycle.
“I’m not blaming the victim here,” Palmer said, “but certainly one of the key lessons here is prevention. At 2 in the morning, you should take strong consideration of wearing a helmet ... and take strong consideration of having lights on your bicycle.”
Witnesses provided a description of the vehicle that hit Stern, and police found it minutes later near E. Franklin and Bloomington Avenues S., Palmer said.
A 27-year-old man was arrested and showed signs of alcohol intoxication, police said. He was booked into the Hennepin County jail and was being held Saturday on suspicion of criminal vehicular homicide, according to jail records.
Minneapolis crash data
Minneapolis averages about 270 reported crashes between bicycles and motor vehicles each year.
An analysis released earlier this year of a decade’s worth of crash data showed that 81 percent of crashes occurred within 50 feet of an intersection.
One of five crashes was classified as hit-and-run, with the driver the fleeing party 93 percent of the time.
From 2000 to 2010, there were three bike-motorist crashes at the Lake Street-Cedar Avenue intersection, according to the study.
Police ask anyone with information about this incident to call 612-692-8477.