Police: Drunken driver hits 6 pedestrians near U of M

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 15, 2012 - 10:27 PM

They were all struck while crossing a street near the U campus. The driver said she never saw the pedestrians.

Kristine J. Peterson

Photo: Hennepin County Sheriff,

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A 32-year-old driver has been cited for being drunk when she struck six pedestrians at an intersection near the University of Minnesota, authorities said Monday.

The incident occurred about 3 p.m. Sunday at Oak Street and Washington Avenue SE., when Kristine J. Peterson, of St. Francis, was turning left in her car and struck the people crossing the street, police said.

Three of the victims went to Hennepin County Medical Center on their own, and the others were transported there by ambulance, said Police Sgt. Stephen McCarty.

Only 58-year-old Kevin Duffy, of Burnsville, remains hospitalized. Duffy is in satisfactory condition, said HCMC spokeswoman Christine Hill.

McCarty said Peterson's actions were "unintentional. It just sounds like an accident where alcohol was involved."

According to a campus police officer at the scene, Peterson said she didn't see the pedestrians as they tried to cross, the Minnesota Daily student newspaper reported.

University of Minnesota student Michael Duffy, 19, of Burnsville, was one of the six who were hit and is a son of Kevin Duffy.

"That's a lot of people," he said, adding that everyone who was hit was in the crosswalk and observing the signal as they started to cross Oak. Peterson hit them as she turned left from westbound Washington onto southbound Oak.

"I didn't see the car at all -- until it hit me," Michael Duffy said, adding that he took the day off from classes to nurse some scrapes and "pretty bad bruises."

He said his father was the first to get hit and suffered a broken leg and cuts to his head. Also struck in the group was Michael Duffy's girlfriend, fellow U student Abby Reynolds, 19, of Hopkins. Her knees are "pretty banged up," Michael Duffy said.

Also with the Duffys and not hurt were Michael's brother and his brother's girlfriend.

The others who were struck were a 19-year-old man from Edina, and a 19-year-old woman and an 18-year-old woman, both from Bemidji.

While McCarty declined to specify Peterson's blood-alcohol content reading, he did say it was more than 0.08 percent, the legal limit for driving in Minnesota.

Peterson was ticketed for drunken driving and jailed. She was released Sunday evening and has a court date Nov. 26. She did not return telephone messages seeking comment about the incident.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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