Witness: Minneapolis crash sent bike flying

  • Article by: MATT MCKINNEY , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 31, 2010 - 11:27 PM

The rider was critically hurt, and the driver was jailed. But the witness thought the bike went through a stop sign.

William Speake was driving home Monday afternoon when he heard a crash behind him at the intersection of Monroe Street and 15th Avenue NE. in Minneapolis.

When he looked in his rearview mirror, he said, he saw a bicycle tumbling through the air at about roof height of a minivan, which appeared stopped in the middle of the intersection.

The crash threw 54-year-old Brad Thomseth off his bike and into the middle of the intersection, where Speake found him unconscious and bleeding heavily from the mouth.

Thomseth, who lives on the 3400 block of Central Avenue NE., was listed in critical condition at Hennepin County Medical Center on Tuesday night.

Police later arrested the driver of the minivan, Emmitt Stewart Jr. of 1508 Chicago Av. S. on a felony charge of criminal vehicular injury. He was held without bail Tuesday.

Speake said he gave his account to police:

Thomseth's bike was heading east, the van going south. Four-way stop signs mark the intersection where the collision occurred.

The van "was probably going very slowly or stopped at the time of the impact,'' he said, concluding that the impact would have thrown Thomseth farther south if the van had been going faster. Speake said the bike "had to be going through the stop sign."

Police were unavailable to comment further on the case Tuesday.

Speake said he parked his vehicle and ran back to the intersection. He found Stewart trying to help the cyclist, who was unconscious.

"The biker was pretty much motionless, the blood was just pumping out like crazy. ... I think he landed full speed with his head against the windshield pillar," Speake said.

Thomseth's bicycle was modified with a small motor over the rear wheel, but it wasn't known if he had it operating at the time of the crash. Speake said he didn't recall seeing a helmet on Thomseth.

Matt McKinney • 612-217-1747

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