Timothy Bakdash, who is serving a 40-year prison sentence for drunkenly running down a group of University of Minnesota students and killing one, must pay nearly $140,000 to a survivor who suffered serious injuries.
Hennepin County District Judge Philip Bush awarded $138,580 in damages to Sarah Anne Bagley for negligence, medical expenses, wage loss and damages for pain, disability, disfigurement and emotional distress following the April 15, 2011, hit-and-run crash that killed Benjamin Van Handel.
Van Handel, 23, of Appleton, Wis., was a business major who was a month from graduating.
Bakdash, 31, is serving his term at the Stillwater prison after his March 2012 conviction for second-degree murder and eight other felonies stemming from the Dinkytown crash, in which he struck a group of U students with his car after a night of drinking at the nearby Library Bar. Van Handel died of brain injuries six days later, hours before Bakdash was arrested.
Bagley and Katelynn Hanson, who were walking in a different group, also were seriously hurt.
Bakdash admitted to being drunk when he drove the wrong way down 5th Street SE. at 2 a.m. and onto the sidewalk, avoiding trees and a retaining wall before hitting the students. He testified that he was trying to scare a man he believed had taunted him in the parking lot when he drove up onto the curb, intending to clip the man’s ankle.
Bagley, 23, and Hanson, 24, were walking home with fellow student Joseph Bailin after celebrating getting into separate graduate schools when they heard the revving of an engine behind them. The next thing both knew, they were lying injured in the street. According to the order, Bagley suffered vertigo, permanent knee damage, tooth and jaw injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder. She is currently finishing architecture school in Oregon.
In September 2011, she sued Bakdash; his mother, Diane Bakdash, and the Library Bar. Bagley’s attorney, Peter Riley, said the other defendants settled in exchange for the lawsuit against them being dropped.
He also said there are pending lawsuits involving the insurance companies that covered Bakdash, who is scheduled for supervised release from prison in 2037.