Car in St. Thomas hit-and-run found; driver still sought

 

Police said Monday they have located the car but not yet the driver that struck two University of St. Thomas students late at night over the weekend on Grand Avenue in St. Paul, leaving both of them severely hurt in a hit-and-run incident.

The car, a 2013 gray Mazda3 was recovered slightly more than a mile northeast of the scene about 5 p.m. Sunday in a parking lot behind apartments in the 1700 block of Carroll Avenue in St. Paul, said police spokesman Sgt. Paul Paulos. He didn’t give details about what led police to the car.

The housing of the driver’s side mirror was recovered at the scene, and the condition of the car matches the evidence left behind in the crash, Paulos added.

The victims were identified in police records as Nicholas N. Bergeland, of Wayzata, and Rebekka L. Peterson, of Farmington, both 22. They were taken to Regions Hospital after being struck about 2:30 a.m. Sunday upon exiting a cab in the 1900 block of Grand Avenue. The two were in critical condition late Monday afternoon, a hospital spokesman said.

An on-campus prayer service for the two is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas. Peterson is a senior at St. Thomas, the school said. St. Thomas, at the family’s request, is releasing no information about Bergeland. St. Thomas is about a half-mile northwest of where the two were struck.

Police said that Bergeland and Peterson, in the cab with three other people, were hit by the westbound vehicle as they attempted to cross Grand in the middle of the block between Prior Avenue and Howell Street.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 651-266-5582.

Sunday’s incident was one of several recent hit-and-run cases in St. Paul.

Therese Klotz, 53, of St. Paul, was hit by a vehicle about 6:40 p.m. Nov. 1 as she was getting out of her car in front of a friend’s house on the 700 block of Randolph Avenue. She died at Regions Hospital. No suspects have been arrested yet in that case.

In another incident, a 32-year-old man was discovered on Oct. 13 about 7 a.m. on the grass near a home in the 100 block of Larpenteur Avenue E. It’s not clear whether he was hit by a vehicle or was attacked and then left at the location.

On Oct. 3, Wade Souster, 31, was found unconscious at Phalen Boulevard and Atlantic Street after being struck by a hit-and-run driver. Police are still looking for suspects.

On Sept. 13, 92-year-old Roy Kromschroeder was riding his motorcycle to the mall for his daily walk when he was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver at Prosperity and Ivy avenues. A 26-year-old woman was charged in his death.

 

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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