Hopkins police are offering a $6,000 reward in hopes that somebody will come forward with the tip needed to find the driver who struck and killed a pedestrian in the city’s downtown Wednesday morning and did not stop at the scene.
Police are scouring surveillance videos from local businesses and Metro Transit buses that were in the area of 17th Avenue and Mainstreet where Dolores (Jeanne) Stafford was hit by a dark colored SUV around 6 a.m. as she crossed the street. The videos may have captured the incident, said Sgt. Mike Glassberg.
The videos did show two vehicles in the vicinity at that time, one a Dodge minivan headed west on Mainstreet. The other was a vehicle with a body style similar to a Toyota Matrix or a Honda Fit. Police would like to speak with those drivers, but emphasized they are not suspects.
“We don’t think they are involved, but we think they saw something,” Glassberg said.
Police also say there may have been other witnesses in the area at the time and would like to speak with anybody who saw anything.
Stafford, 75, a long time Hopkins resident, was headed to a bus stop when she was hit. She was in a crosswalk and had a walk sign, Glassberg said.
A good Samaritan who came upon the scene called 911. By the time emergency personnel arrived on the scene, the driver had fled and they found Stafford lying in the street. She was taken to a hospital where she died on Thursday. She was able to tell police at the scene that she believed she was hit by a dark color SUV, Glassberg said.
“No doubt that the driver absolutely knew he struck something and needed to stop and render aid,” Glassberg said, noting the vehicle likely has some damage. He encouraged anybody who knows anybody with a dark SUV that has a fresh dent to contact police. “We owe it to Jeanne Stafford to locate this suspect.”
On Friday, the Hopkins Police Crime Fund announced a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction of the suspect. CrimeStoppers added $1,000 for relevant tips.
Anybody with information is asked to call police dispatch at 952-258-5321.