A 24-year-old motorist ran over and seriously injured a 57-year-old woman walking in a Minnetonka crosswalk in June, then lied to police at the scene about whether she was texting while turning, according to authorities.
Stephanie M. Deloye, of Minnetonka, was charged last week in Hennepin County District Court with felony criminal vehicular operation in connection with hitting Malia McElveen, who was crossing at the busy Hwy. 101 and Excelsior Boulevard intersection near her home.
McElveen was hospitalized at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis and treated for numerous pelvic fractures.
“It would be nice if people would put those things away,” Minnetonka police Capt. Jeff Sebenaler said. “People think they can text [legally] when they are [stopped] in a turn lane.
“Time and time again, I see them texting while in the turn lane. They keep it in their lap. It’s easy to spot when watching them; their eyes are going up and down, up and down, and the traffic starts and they don’t.”
According to the criminal complaint and police records, late on the afternoon of June 15, officers were called to the intersection and found McElveen in the fetal position in the road, bleeding from her face and complaining of hip pain.
An SUV was stopped in the road next to her with Deloye behind the wheel. Witnesses told police that the driver of the SUV had made no attempt to stop as she turned left from eastbound Excelsior onto northbound Hwy. 101 and hit McElveen in the crosswalk.
Deloye also never got out of her vehicle to aid McElveen, and the first call to police about the crash came from someone else.
Officers approached Deloye in her vehicle, noting that her cellphone was in her lap and turned on. Deloye explained that she didn’t see the pedestrian because her view was obscured by the windshield pillar, the complaint said
Deloye also said she last sent a text message before she left home. However, officers checked her cellphone records, which showed she sent two text messages and received another starting less than 2 minutes before police were notified of the incident.
The last of those texts was sent by Deloye at 4:46.54 p.m., the complaint said. The first call to 911 about the crash came 20 seconds later.
When informed of that, Deloye admitted “that she lied about texting while driving but stated that she last texted shortly before the accident while she was at a traffic light,” the complaint said.
Deloye’s driving history in Minnesota includes a conviction in 2012 for driving after her license was revoked.