An arrest, a sentencing in two fatal hit-and-runs of bicyclists

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 8, 2013 - 5:08 PM

A motorist suspected of running a stop sign and fatally hitting a bicyclist in south Minneapolis last week was arrested Monday at about the same time a driver in another hit-and-run death of a bicyclist was being sentenced.

 

A motorist suspected of running a stop sign in his car and fatally hitting a bicyclist in south Minneapolis last week was arrested Monday at about the same time a driver in another hit-and-run death of a bicyclist was being sentenced.

The motorist suspected of running a stop sign and fatally hitting a bicyclist in south Minneapolis last week before fleeing surrendered Monday morning after being encouraged by friends and family in his ethnic community to turn himself in, authorities said.

The 24-year-old driver allegedly struck Jessica Hanson, 24, as she was riding to her boyfriend’s house about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday. Hanson was hit near W. 28th Street and Pleasant Avenue S. She died two days later.

Police said the driver, who lives in Minneapolis about 2 miles southeast of where Hanson was hit, had been going faster than the speed limit with the vehicle’s lights off and ran the stop sign.

The driver, who could be charged by noon Wednesday, was arrested about 10 a.m. Monday and is now jailed on suspicion of criminal vehicular homicide, according to police. The car was located Friday, police added.

During a news conference Monday at the intersection where Hanson was hit, Police Lt. Richard Zimmerman said “oh, yeah, there is no way” the driver would have not known that he hit someone.

Hanson lived in the Uptown neighborhood and was a server at Republic, a bar in the area. She moved to Minneapolis from the west-central Minnesota city of Hoffman.

Hanson wasn’t wearing a helmet, according to friends. Also at the news conference Monday were members of Hanson’s family. They said that because of a lack of internal injuries, several of her vital organs were donated and are helping keep others alive.

The jailed motorist has had several scrapes with the law in recent years in the Twin Cities, among them convictions for illegal weapons possession, trespassing, theft, disorderly conduct and driving without proof of insurance.

Hanson is the second bicyclist to be killed in Minneapolis in a hit-and-run this year. On March 30, Elyse Mary Stern, 28, was killed at the intersection of E. Lake Street and Cedar Avenue. The driver, Juan Ricardo Hernandez-Campoceco, pleaded guilty to felony hit-and-run and fourth-degree driving-while-intoxicated in that incident.

On Monday, he was sentenced to 90 days for the DWI charge. Since he had already served 101 days in jail, the judge said that part of his sentence was complete.

But Hernandez-Campoceco is also in jail on an immigration hold, and his lawyer said he will be deported back to Guatemala. If he returns to the United States and violates his probation, he could be sentenced to a year in jail for the felony hit-and-run charge.

 

Star Tribune staff writer David Chanen contributed to this report.

 

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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    Jessica Hanson died after being struck by a hit-and-run motorist while riding her bike Wednesday night near 28th Street...

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